County department of Environment and Natural Resources has embarked on a public participation process in Achuodho Resource Center, Kasese Market and Rweya Chief’s Camp this week to inform, engage, and consult with the community on the waste to energy factory to be put up in the region.
This is in line with the requirement of the Kenya Constitution 2010 Article 232(1)(d), which provides for citizens’ participation in the decision-making process, and calls for transparency through the provision of timely and accurate information to the public.
While addressing the community members today at Obumba Catholic Church in Kasese over the development, the Chief Officer, Maryline Yanzar Agwa elaborated that the plant will specifically process waste to generate energy, fertilizers, interlocking blocks from shredded glasses and plastics which will be used as building materials considered suitable in flood prone areas.
She further explained that the project will bring on board five County departments from Roads and Public works, Environment, Agriculture, Finance and Lands, where they will play their roles to ensure all required infrastructure and challenges concerning their sector are sorted out before the works begin.
The project has four components namely: Drainage and dykes, fencing and toilet construction, weigh bridge construction and construction of the waste material recovery center.
The chief Officer Madam Maryline stated that up to 60% of the locals will be involve in the works, calling on members of the Project Management Committee (PMC) to take up their oversight role responsibly for the community to get value for money when the works commence.
The Director Environment and Stewardship, Mr. Ken Koyooh on his part explained that as a department mandated to carry out solid waste management, using the new technology in recycling, the plant will sit on a 25 acres piece of land, fitted with a fence, proper constructed roads, trees planted all round, lagoons dug and dykes will be constructed along the river to mitigate the surface runoffs.
In regards to waste collection, Mr. koyooh said the seven sub counties will act as transfer stations where sorting will be done. After sorting, a covered skip loader will be used to transport the waste to the factory where they will be processed on arrival to avoid heaps of garbage at the processing site.
Dr. Abel Otieno who led a team of consultants on the Environmental Impact Assessment as per the requirement of NEMA Act of 1998, used the session to outline the merits and demerits that come with such developments prior to the community members being given questionnaires to fill in and state their views over the same.
The event was also graced by the Village Administrator Mr. Japheth Opiyo, The Ward Manager Mr. Wilson Agoro, who represented the area MCA, the Liaison Officer Mr. John Osumba, Nora Agai a representative from the woman rep office and the area Assistant Chief among other community members