Effects of solid waste management in Embu town Embu County Kenya
Njagi, Diana Nyakio
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Challenges of solid waste management are a problem that plagues all countries of the world for example Kenya. Solid waste is the remnant of the refuse that is discarded by the public and collected either in a managed system or in a mismanaged way. It also includes garbage or trash which consists of everyday items discarded by the public, for example plastic papers and containers, kitchen refuse, and market waste. Solid waste is managed in order to protect human health and the environment. The situation is especially dire in developing countries where governments are unable to cope with the ever increasing volumes of solid waste in urban centres. Dumped solid waste is accompanied by rodents, bad smell, and people scavenging for things to sell. When solid waste is not managed properly, it can result in diseases in both human beings and animals and also degrade the environment. This study looked at solid waste management in Embu Town, Embu County. In Kenya, urban centres are facing problems such as lack of proper policies and poor implementation of policies dealing with solid waste management, lack of finances, lack of proper institutions to deal with solid waste and lack of public awareness and cooperation from the communities when it comes to dealing with solid waste management. Some urban centres have been able to come up with their own by laws for solid waste management. Involving the private sector in solid waste management has been adopted in major towns and cities in Kenya to help cope with solid waste management. There is no available literature that shows the existence of such policies in Embu Town. The general objective of this study was to investigate the effects of solid waste management in Embu Town. The specific objectives of the study were: to identify policy development by Embu Town on solid waste disposal, to examine. management of solid waste disposal used by Embu Town and to investigate the challenges of managing solid waste in Embu Town. The research done has focused on big cities and towns like Nairobi, Mombasa Nakuru and Eldoret. However, there is scant literature on medium and small towns like Embu. Lack of literature on medium and small like Nyeri, Naivasha and Embu prompted the researcher to embark on this research. This research sought to fill in such gaps in the solid waste management issues in Kenya. Results from the study of solid waste management in Embu Town may inform research and policy making in similar towns in other counties. The theory of new public administration (NPM) was used. This study used a descriptive survey research design. Purposive sampling was used to select 10 policy makers for interviews conducted by the researcher. 323 residents and business people were selected randomly and given questionnaires to fill on their own. The data collected was coded and categorized into patterns or themes. Research findings were presented using graphs and tables. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used to summarize the data in the questionnaires. Tables, graphs and pie charts were used to present the results. The research fmdings showed that Embu Town has yet to develop policies to deal with solid waste management. The disposal methods used in Embu Town include waste collection and dumping of waste in the open dumpsite. The research also found out that Embu Town faces many challenges in regard to solid waste management.