Contempt of court: Sakaja CECs risk jail term over Dandora dumpsite
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja is facing a legal battle over the Dandora dumpsite, where he wants to build a waste recycling plant.
This follows a successful petition filed by Isaiah Luyara Odando and Wilson Yata through Amondi and Company Advocates at the Milimani Law Courts.
According to the petition, the same court had in 2021 issued a ruling directing the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to close the Dandora dumpsite and asked the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to look for a new site.
The petitioners claimed that the county government had disobeyed and violated the July 2021 order by continuing to use the dumpsite illegally.
In the court order issued by Judge Oguttu Mboya on Tuesday 24 August, the case was declared urgent and will be heard on an inter partes basis on 20 September.
Nema Director General Mamo B. Mamo, Nairobi Green County Executive Committee member Ibrahim Auma and his environment counterpart Hibrahim Otieno, and County Chief Officer Department of Water and Sewerage Oscar Omoke are all facing contempt of court.
The county government has also been cited for going ahead with its plan to build a recycling plant on the same land, to the detriment of the affected residents.
“That the Nairobi County government has indicated a keen interest on continuing to operate the said dumpsite by advertising and shortlisting firms for a tender to design, build, finance operate. maintain and Transfer a ‘Waste to Energy’ Processing Plant at Dandora Dumpsite hence this court must move with speed to assert its authority by citing and punishing the Respondents for contempt and enforcing tie Petitioners rights to a clean environment as a result of the said contempt of court orders,” the petition reads in part.
The petitioners have further stated that the above breaches constitute a continuing violation of the specific court order which set specific timelines for the closure and relocation of the dumpsite from its current location at Dandora.
Earlier this year, the County proceeded to invite interested investors for the Waste to Energy (WTE) recycling plant to be located at the Dandora dumpsite, about 12 kilometres from the CBD, despite the 2021 court order.
The County later sent out a request for proposals to 17 persons/companies to design, finance, maintain and transfer a waste to energy processing plant at Dandora Dumpsite. On June 20, during the opening of the tender, three companies had submitted their proposals.
According to Governor Sakaja, the county is keen on creating job opportunities for residents of Dandora through the plant, which is now facing challenges in court.