Choking fumes of foul smell wafts out of heaps of decaying garbage within the Central Business District (CBD).
Similar ugly scenes have been replicated in most city estates save for the posh suburbs where the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has dedicated almost their entire workforce and machinery giving a blind eye to the middle and poverty stricken sprawling informal settlements.
Along Kirinyaga Road, one of the busiest streets in Nairobi County, decomposing refuse poses unfathomable health hazard with garbage overflowing the pit, some scattered onto the filthy, muddy streets.
We caught up with Joel Kariuki a renowned business mogul who deals with spare parts.
And from the onset, Kariuki is not a happy man.
“Some of us have underlying conditions. We have complained to Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) and nothing has been done as we speak. We are even losing millions of shillings as people are avoiding these streets,” said Kariuki.
Most traders who sell spare parts along the busy street share the same predicament.
“For our businesses to survive the garbage needs to be collected more regularly,” says Herman Ngatia.
Accra road is another street where you will find uncollected garbage.
Tom Mboya Street is another street which has huge piles of uncollected garbage.
The problem is stretched even in most estates across the capital.
At Kariobangi South uncollected garbage is the order of the day.
Here, pedestrians, boda boda operators and vehicles normally fight for space along the narrow path.
One has to choose between walking on trash or on the way of motorbike
or a car and risk an accident.
“We have young kids but most of them already have developed breathing conditions. we have taken them to hospital but we are told the best thing to do is just to relocate to a new place,” laments Halima Osman.
Our spot check continues through Dandora estate roads and the situation is the same, if not worse.
The situation is no different a few kilometres away in Umoja Estate.
“For more than two weeks now, garbage has not been collected and we don’t know why. If the situation continues like this, we fear there would be an outbreak of diseases like cholera,” says Mark Oloo.
When we reach Huruma, it is clear that the problem is not unique to Embakasi South Constituency.
The reality is that entire Eastlands is full of filth.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Services, set up with a mandate to reform garbage collection and disposal in collaboration with NYS appears unable to do the job
In October last year, NMS reactivated 21 garbage collection trucks that had been grounded, but their work has yet to be felt.
The entity also added other 210 trucks this year.
With this, NMS director general Mohammed Badi had aimed to dispose an average of 3,000 tonnes of garbage to Dandora dumpsite daily.
The agency improved its collection from 1,000 tonnes to an average of 2,500 tons a day.
However this has not sorted the problem.
A source from the entity said they have been facing serious financial challenges.
“The DG is really a doing job but I can tell you some of these truckers even go for days without fuel. He has a heart but some things are just beyond him”, said the source.
Our source said that the garbage collection is also connected with some top government cartels who have been micromanaging the sector.
“Some of these firms are owned by the so called “deep state”. They are people who like invoking President Kenyatta name in everything they do and this has played a big part in making our work difficult”, he said.
The problem remains despite NMS setting sh 1.3 billion to clear pending bills majority which were from garbage collection firms.
Efforts to get a comment from Major Mohamed Badi failed to bear fruits as he did respond to our calls.