The Nairobi Metropolitan Services – NMS has partnered with UN Habitat to give Nairobi River a major face lift.
Speaking during the signing of a memorandum of Understand at the Michuki park NMS Director General Mohammed Badi said the regeneration will turn around the river that has for long been the used as human and solid waste disposal point killing aquatic life.
Environment Water and Sanitation is one of the four functions that were transferred from Nairobi City County Government to Nairobi Metropolitan services.
The Goal and objectives the Nairobi River regeneration initiative is to embrace the river, reclaiming the city rivers including Ngong , Kirichwa , Ruaraka and Kiu Rivers as a shared public good which supports a better urban and environmental performance for better quality of life in Nairobi.
´Part of our core mandates is to manage the environment and natural resources in the City. In execution of this mandate, we are responsible for solid waste removal and disposal, control of water, air and noise pollution, control and regulation of public nuisances; management of county parks and recreation facilities and provision of water and sanitation services.´ Said Badi.
Nairobi currently turns its back to its rivers. The city’s rivers are noxious chemical concentrations of raw human, industrial and medical waste, negatively affecting the general environment and the quality of both surface and ground water, killing aquatic life and increasing incidences of disease and associated economic
and social burdens.
According to Major Badi, the resulting environmental degradation and public health impacts lead to high child mortality and morbidity, poor school attendance and performance, especially for the girl child, and low productivity.
In collaboration with other government agencies such as Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Water Resource Authority (WRA), Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCSWC), among others NMS envisages a scenario where they can revitalize Nairobi River network.
Similarly they want to stop discharge of effluent into the river, plant more tree species and other forms of greenery so as to create a livable ecosystem.
According to an UN-Habitat survey in 2015, 8,884 buildings are built within 30m of the city’s three main river courses.
Moreover, given the city’s population is expected to rise to seven million over the next 10 years, the need for commensurate good quality and accessible green and public spaces, decent jobs and safe walking and cycling infrastructure are likely to become increasingly important.
NMS DG stated that the delivery of safe, adequate and reliable sanitation services in Nairobi and the need to put in place sustainable measures to protect the natural environment including river corridors and green, and public spaces is a top priority.