Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo has warned Kenyans against improper disposal of single use facemask.
Speaking in Nakuru on Thursday during the handing over commodities towards medical waste management,the PS said such might derail the efforts the goverment is putting in place in the fight against COVID-19.
“There are individuals Kenyanswho out here to make money and are collecting the disposed ones and washing them.We advise Kenyans that after using the single use face masks to ensure they damage the mask and make it not re-usable before disposing it” he said.
According to Dr.Kiptoo, this will help in reducing used masks to gain access again in the market.
Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui also making an appeal to Kenyans to ensure they dispose single use face masks in designated areas to avoid the masks landing at the registered dumpsites where there are families depending on washing them back and re-selling to the community.
According to Kinyanjui, the act might cause more spread of Covid-19 and cause more panic in the society.
“Improper disposal of single use face masks might revert the essence of the masks from containing the spread of Corona Virus to being agents of spreading the same virus” he said.
UNDP Resident Representative Walid Badawi on his part reiterating that the UNDP states are committed to ensuring Kenya regains its normal state once the deadly virus curve has been flattened.
Badawi adding that Nakuru County has a great economic potential and it’s the forth county from Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu to receive the aid to ensure there is a end to outbreak and spread of respiratory diseases.
The National government has boosted the County government of Nakuru on matters healthcare waste management by donating commodities (masks,aprons,waste bins) that will be distributed in Nakuru’s Level 5 facility,Naivasha and Molo sub county hospitals.
Speaking on Thursday during the handing over ceremony held at Nakuru PGH, Principal Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr.Chris Kiptoo revealed that under the project, sh 80 million will be used in Nakuru county for the UNDP-funded project to support Nakuru PGH, Naivasha and Molo.
He noted that this is in line with the fact that Kenya is a member in implementing multilateral environmental agreements.
The PS revealing that a lot of waste is generated in the countrywhich are hazardous and infectious hence need for a proper management.
According to statistics, in Kenya 22,000 tons of waste is produced daily
“We generate a lot of waste as a country and that is why as a Ministry we are working hard to ensure waste management.
The PS adding that already a draft policy on new guidelines s in place on how the country is supposed to manage waste.
Under the new policy guidelines, a lot of effort is being put on segregation of waste at home to know recyclables and non-recyclable.
The National government under the project ‘partnership on Health and Environment Health care waste perspective at National and County level’ the PS revealed already Nairobi has benefited with focus on other counties that are ready.
“We want to start with counties that are ready for instance Nairobi. In Nakuru we have heard from the governor on circular economy and we are also looking at post-COVID-19” he said.
Sentiments echoed by UNDP Resident Representative Walid Badawi.
He noted that this is a time that the counties and country at large struggling with COVID-19.
“The commodities under the project will help flatten the curve of COVID-19” he said.
While revealing that already Nairobi,Mombasa and Kisumu counties have received similar commodities, the UNDP representative was categorical that medical waste if not well managed can lead to spread of respiratory diseases and even COVID-19.
On his part Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui commending partners for coming to Nakuru and lending a hand during this COVID-19 pandemic when counties are pressed.
Kinyanjui noting that the masks being used by residents are key in addressing the issue of COVID-19 but can be dangerous too if not well disposed off.
“The masks we wear are paramount in averting spread of COVID-19 but they can also be a threat. The single use masks if not properly disposed off can be a mess.
Kinynajui appealing to residents of Nakuru to start focusing on how to manage waste from the source.
He once again reiterated that his administration will work closely with other Stakeholders on the waste management issue.
Already Nakuru County is focusing on the Circular economy with a cooking briquettes’ factory already established in Kaloleni, Kivumbini in Nakuru East Sub County.
According to Kinyanjui , this will help address the issue of solid waste as human waste together with other waste is now being used to manufacture the briquettes.