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Nairobi appoints garbage collectors despite protests

Nairobi will from February start appointing garbage collectors for more city estates amid protests over the hiring of a single firm to handle refuse disposal in Kilimani, Lavington and Kileleshwa.

The estates will be lumped into three zones and each will have one operator and varying fees set by City Hall.

Residents of Kitisuru, Muthaiga, Nyari, Mathare and Starehe will be grouped into one zone, while those of Lang’ata, Karen, Mugumoini, Race Course and Kibra will be in the second zone.

The third zone will compose of the neighbourhoods of Kamukunji, Eastleigh, Makadara and parts of Ruaka.

This will mean that residents of the areas will no longer hold contracts with their current garbage collectors and will instead pay a set fee to one company that will be chosen by City Hall.


Dr Leah Oyake, the Environment director , said that the zoning is balanced to ensure low-income neighbourhoods are subsidised by better-off ones.

In Zone Seven for example, which has been a pilot for the new franchising system, residents of Kilimani, Kileleshwa and Lavington pay between Sh500 and Sh750 which subsidises Kangemi residents who pay Sh150 per month.

Zone Seven was awarded exclusively to Sifa Cleaning Services for three years. This has seen garbage collectors who were operating in the area protest the move to carve Nairobi into zones which are awarded as monopolies.

Currently, the county has a fleet of garbage trucks and has also hired private contractors whose licences expire next year.

“These contracts will end in June next year. We want to be prepared so that by then we’ll have isolated the three zones to be put under franchise,” said Dr Oyake.

Besides taking the burden of garbage collection from City Hall, the new plan will see the county receive 15 per cent of collections from the firms.

Where door to door collection is cumbersome, the companies will employ community based organisations which will use carts and wheelbarrows to collect garbage from households and take it to a central collection point for a fee.


The city has 10 zones.