The county government of Nairobi has ordered sub-county administrators to take charge of garbage collection in their zones as the Sonko Rescue Team stopped providing the service.
Meanwhile, private contractors are on a go-slow demanding over Sh150 million arrears accruing from the last administration, resulting in fears that the garbage pile-ups that had made parts of the capital city an eyesore could return.
Through a statement, Mr Mohamed Dagane, the acting county executive for Water, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources, directed that sub-county administrators will now be responsible for garbage collection within their areas of jurisdiction.
DEVOLVE GARBAGE COLLECTION
"The Nairobi City County Government will from today devolve garbage collection to the sub-county level to deal with the menace of illegal dumping and uncollected garbage," said Mr Dagane.
The 17 administrators will each control two trucks and have enough manpower for waste collection.
The county government has also disbanded the Anti-Dumping Unit that was based at City Hall, and the officers redeployed to the sub-counties, reporting to the sub-county administrators.
In the medium-term, the county government has rolled out a decentralisation process for all services.
The 17 sub-counties will be clustered into 10 service delivery units, each headed by a minister of the county government.
"We urge the judiciary to hand down deterrent sentences on people found guilty of illegal dumping. Light sentences have allowed the problem to persist," said Mr Gadane.
The changes come after the initiative dubbed "Operation Ng'arisha Jiji" suffered a setback over the December holidays when the Sonko Rescue Team withdrew services in what they termed a restructuring process.
The team's CEO, Mr Joab Ogolla, said they served as a reinforcement unit after the elections but now the county was stable to take over the mandate.
"After the holidays, we have not resumed collecting garbage since we are restructuring and streamlining our operations and projects," he said, adding that they were vetting the team to identify those who will be absorbed by the county to work in various advertised positions.