Relationship between socio-economic exclusion and community based waste management practices in Kibera informal settlements, Nairobi County, Kenya
Mburu, Simon Wainaina
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One of the greatest environmental challenges in the 21st century is ensuring successful implementation of participatory community based waste management practices in cities particularly in slums and informal settlements. This study aimed at investigating the relationship between socio-economic exclusion and community based waste management practices in Kibera informal settlements, Nairobi County. To achieve the study objectives this study was guided by Marxist theoretical framework on the occurrence of slums and xv xv the dynamics of waste management. The theoretical framework demonstrates how socio-economic exclusion has forced people to live in places where there are no basic facilities like sanitation, proper sewers and garbage collection systems. The study objectives included: establishing the main forms and causes of socio-economic exclusion among the residents of Kibera, main challenges of solid waste management in Kibera, evaluated the main impediments to the current strategies applied in enhancement of waste management practices in Kibera, assesed at the nexus between socio-economic exclusion and sustainable waste management practices and lastly it identified and discussed sustainable participatory approaches of fostering community based solid waste management practices in Kibera. The study was a descriptive research and it was carried out in seven sub-locations of Kibera informal settlements namely: Kibera, Lindi, Makina, Silanga, Laini Saba, Gatwekera and Olympic/Kianda. The research used primary and secondary data. It employed quantitative techniques to obtain responses from 393 respondents and qualitative means to establish the extent of socio-economic exclusion and poor waste management practices. The data collected were coded, cleaned and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Analyzed primary data (quantitative) was integrated with secondary data and synthesized in line with study objectives. The analyzed data (qualitative) is presented in narrative form under identified thematic areas. Frequency tables, graphs, charts, figures and photographs have been used to present the results. The study found out that the forms of socio-economic exclusion in Kibera include: impoverishment, labour market exclusion and service exclusion. It is usually caused by lack of participation, unemployment, low income, crime and ethnicity. Further, the study found that the main challenges of solid wastes are: lack of access roads, lack of recycling, lack of dumping ground and financial challenges. Moreover, sustainable participatory based community waste management practices only 23% of the residents had been trained mostly by community based organizations meaning that the government and other actors should do more. The study concludes that financial services, age and government services exclusion exists in Kibera due to ethnicity, lack of participation and unemployment, causing poverty and poor waste management leading to the spread of communicable diseases like malaria and typhoid. It is hoped that this study will influence policy making processes whereby urban planners and other stakeholders can get insight into the dynamics that shape socio-economic processes and waste management in Kenyan slums.