Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o has vowed to clear the Kachok dumpsite despite opposition by some residents.
Speaking when he inspected the ongoing relocation work at the site on Tuesday, Prof Nyong'o, who was accompanied by Kisumu City Manager Doris Ombara, said the relocation to Kajulu in Kisumu East will continue until the garbage is cleared from the site.
Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir had opposed the relocation to his constituency saying it poses a health risk.
But on Tuesday, the governor said all environmental assessment processes had been completed, adding that it was safe to move the garbage.
He said once the relocation is complete, the Kachok site will be fenced off and trees and grass planted for the area to be used as a children's park.
Relocation of Kachok dumpsite starts
"You note that Kisumu has very few parks and only 0.4 percent of the area is covered by forest. We want to embark on an ambitious programme of afforestation and ensure 4 percent forest cover in our county in the next five years," Prof Nyong'o said.
He said the process will enhance food sufficiency in the County to boost food security.
On her part, Ms Ombara said Sh135 million will be spent in the reclamation of the dumpsite.
"We shall embark on rapid planting of indigenous trees and enhance beautification of the park once the relocation work is complete," Ms Ombara stated.
Kachok dumpsite manager John Ochieng' Orinda said they welcomed the gesture by the county to relocate it and urged Governor Nyong'o to ensure street families who eke out a living from it are assisted.
"We have more than 80 members of the street families who rely on this dumpsite. One of them is an 85-year-old man [and] we are requesting the governor to come to his aid," Mr Orinda said.
He said the old man started relying on the dumpsite when he was aged 36 and to date he still lives at the site.
The man, Isaac Caleb Hasava from Vihiga County who lives at the dumpsite called for assistance from the county government.
"I come from Vihiga County and have lived here almost my entire life," Mr Hasava said.
Samson Omondi, another street boy living at the site urged the governor to ensure they are supported to prevent them from indulging in negative practices to earn a living.
And in a new development, the Environment and Lands Court in Kisumu has declined to stop the clean-up at Kachok as demanded by four residents.
The four petitioners, Rose Juma Nyanjom, George Onyango Ondere, Titus Achar Okuto and Ibrahim Oloo Onditi had demanded that the relocation be stopped, citing violation of procurement procedures and disregard of the Environmental and Coordination Management Act as well as civil aviation laws.
The four accused the county government of awarding the relocation tender without carrying out environmental impact assessment which is mandatory under the Act.
But Justice Stephen Kibunja said that the petitioners may have misunderstood the nature of the work involved in the project.
The project is about removing inert material or waste from the dumpsite and using it to fill or rehabilitate the Kisumu concrete abandoned quarry.
However, the court ordered the Kisumu County government to re-advertise the petition seeking to stop the relocation of Kachok dumpsite on a daily newspaper with national circulation so as to allow affected and interested parties to apply to be enjoined in the case.