The planned construction of a multi-billion power plant at Dandora dumpsite has once again hit a snag after City Hall failed to get an investor for the project even as MPs want the site to be managed by the National Government.
This comes after 60 firms that had expressed interest in setting up the power plant failed to meet requirements for the project.
Nairobi County Environment Larry Wambua said that the county will soon embark on a fresh procurement process to get an investor.
He pointed out that out of the 60 companies that expressed interest, 26 were shortlisted as potential investors but none was found to have the capacity to set up a power plant that would manage the 2, 500 tons of garbage generated daily in the capital.
"Most of the companies that applied for the project were just briefcase firms. When we sat down and inquired on their expertise and what they could do for the county we could not get any that was capable and serious of setting up the plant," said Mr Wambua.
Mr Wambua said they will soon advertise for another expression of interest with the aim of identifying a qualified investor armed with the relevant technology and finances to do the job.
"We have to start the procurement process a fresh. What we intended to do is have the company awarded the tender to invest their money and later recoup the money once the investment is viable," he said.
The plant, which is expected to produce 40 megawatts of clean, renewal energy daily to be connected to the national grid, was expected to be set up in November 2018 but the process has been experiencing challenges.
Dandora dumpsite, which is Nairobi's largest dumping site, is currently reeling under the weight of excessive solid waste holding over 1.8 million tons of waste against an expected capacity of 500,000 tons.
The dumpsite receives over 2,000 metric tons of solid waste daily from all over the county and the setting up of the plant was to eliminate the need to relocate the dumpsite.
In December last year, Dandora 2 MCA Silas Matara, in a notice of motion, proposed that an independent agency be formed to tackle the garbage menace facing Nairobi.
And now the National Government has threatened to take over the running of the dumpsite with City Hall accused of turning it into a "cash cow".
This comes after National Assembly Budget Committee proposed budget cut to City Hall's solid waste management, accusing the county government of negligence and failing to address challenges from the dumpsite.
Embakasi North MP Mwangi Gakuya and his counterpart from Gatundu South Moses Kuria on Sunday said the county has forgotten its mandate.
"The dumpsite has been converted to a shop where every regime that comes to leadership focuses on the business aspect that the dumpsite can offer. We saw how the former regime led by Evans Kidero mint millions from the site," said Mr Kuria.
"The current regime under Governor Mike Sonko pledged to work on the dumpsite but nothing has been different," he added.
"Solid waste management at the site have not been take seriously. To start waste management activities at the dumpsite, all that is needed is just an approval by the county but it appears that it will never come to pass," said Mr Gakuya.
Meanwhile, the county environment department says that the National Youth service (NYS) is expected to commence collection of garbage in the city as soon as a Sh16 million pending bill is paid to the youth service.
Mr Wambua revealed that a memorandum of understanding signed last week between city hall and the national government stipulates that NYS will begin collections in four zones namely Makadara, Roysambu, Ruaraka and Embakasi East where there are no contractors. The agreement further provides that NYS can help collect garbage in other zones across the capital.
He explained that the decision to engage the NYS was informed by the fact that the engagement will be cheaper by more than half the commercial rates
"As a department we are ready to begin works but the holdup is with the finance department which is yet to clear Sh16 million which is part of a pending bill owed to the Youth service. Once it's cleared we are ready to hit the ground rolling," said Mr Wambua.