Hygiene and safety improvements at the Nairobi’s biggest dumpsite through the ACCP

Hygiene and safety improvements at the Nairobi’s biggest dumpsite through the ACCP

UN-Habitat, the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association (KARA), under the ACCP with funding from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan launched a comprehensive initiative to protect waste pickers at the Dandora dumpsite from COVID-19, and to improve overall hygiene standards.

Over the course of 12-weeks going from the 29th of January to the 1st of March, representatives of waste picker groups received 400 personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves for initial distribution, then 800 PPEs during second distribution. The Kenya Association of Waste Recyclers (KAWR) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) helped in the identification of the waste pickers to promote proper use of PPEs and handwashing practices.

In the later stages of the project, five handwashing stations were installed in the area, serving over 3,000 waste pickers, and benefiting more than a thousand residents living in surrounding areas. Additionally, women's groups from the surrounding community will produce and refill liquid soap for the handwashing stations, fostering community ownership and sustainable operation.

One of the waste picker group leaders, James Njehia Wairimu says “the project of hand washing stations is very helpful project to all people in the dumpsite. There are many dirty materials in this place and risks to contact COVID-19. Now we wash our hands and we will be out of danger of the corona virus as well as other viruses. With the help of Japanese people, UN-Habitat, and Kenyan organisations, we can overcome all the challenges we face.”

Workers in informal waste and recovery sector are particularly vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic, and improved hygiene is a key measure to protect these workers. This collaborative effort by UN-Habitat, KARA, KAWR, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, and the NMS, through the ACCP, demonstrates a commitment to protecting the health and safety of waste pickers while promoting a more sustainable waste management system in Nairobi.

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