KENYA – Kenya has collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to improve medical waste management without impacting on surrounding environment.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry entered into a 5-year programme with UNDP under the Global Environmental Facility to deal with Unintended Persistent Organic Pollutants (UPOP) such as medical waste.
The ministry received KES 400M (US$3.45M) through the project to implement the waste management programme in four counties in the country namely Nakuru, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu on pilot basis before being rolled out countrywide.
Subsequently, the programme was rolled out in Nakuru County where the Naivasha County Referral Hospital received waste-handling equipment valued at KES 30million (US$260,000) including an environmentally friendly incinerator and truck.
Kenya’s Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo handed over the equipment to the referral hospital to support management of medical waste at the hospital and its environs.
For instance, the truck is professionally modified to carry medical waste from other faculties to the donated incinerator which will be serving Naivasha and its environs.
The waste handling equipment comes at a time when the health sector is under increasing pressure to minimize the amount of medical waste being sent to landfills endangering human and environmental health.
Environment Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo reaffirmed the government’s commitment to having a safe environment for its citizens, noting that Kenya has ratified various documents on environment including the United Nation Convention on Environment and the Paris Agreement.
“The ministry received Sh. 400million for this project which is being implemented in four counties, where the Naivasha equipment have cost the Government KES26million plus other small equipment and other overheads bringing the total cost to KES30million,” outlined Dr. Chris Kiptoo.
Moreover, the UPOP programme is among eight environmental programmes being implemented in the Kenya with plans to expand the UPOP programme to the rest of the country in future.
He further said that the donated equipment will support the government’s efforts to improve waste management practices endangering human and environmental health.
“The world today is facing serious challenges of climate change, western pollution and biodiversity loss thus the Government has identified agriculture, energy, transport, manufacturing, land use and bio-diversity as the areas in which Kenya intends to deal with climate change,” he explained.
The Environment Principal Secretary further revealed that Kenya required KES1.88 trillion (US$16M) to mitigate the effects of climate change and an additional KES4.4trillion (US$38M) for adaptation to the climate change in the coming ten years.