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Managing human waste for a better urban environment in low income residential areas: the case of eldoret town, kenya

Author: 
Kwedho, G., Opata G. P. and Ayonga, J.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Kenya is urbanizing rapidly with a population growth rate of 8% per annum. Currently, 35% of the country’s population lives in urban areas. This is estimated at 60% by the year 2030. This urbanization, if not properly managed, implies significant dynamics that impact negatively on the urban environment. The situation is worse in dense residential areas of urban centres, where the main environmental challenge is the proper management of wastes. Hips of garbage are common in low income areas of most Kenyan towns, Eldoret included. In most cases, uncollected wastes, often mixed with human and animal excreta, are dumped indiscriminately in the streets and drains. Such acts lead to contamination of surface and ground water through leachate and soil contamination, hence the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. The discharge of untreated or inadequately treated human wastes from dwelling places and raw sewerage often harms the environment and human health. Based on the study carried out in Eldoret town, this paper critically analyses and identifies problems of the human waste management systems in low income residential areas of the town, and makes recommendations towards a more sustainable urban environment.

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