JKUAT & Japanese Varsity in Solid Waste Management Pact

Prof. Matsufuji (centre) exchange agreement with Prof. Imbuga as Deputy Governor Githinji (left) witnesses

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has teamed up with Fukuoka University, Japan to undertake technology transfer in solid waste management. The collaboration comes in the wake of successful piloting of the Semi-aerobic landfill technology, also known as Fukuoka Method Landfill in Kiambu County. The initiative that was supported by the UN-Habitat and JICA has seen Kiambu County become a model in solid waste management.

Speaking during agreement signing ceremony between the two Universities, Prof. Yasushi Matsufuji from Fukuoka University’s Faculty of Engineering, said the technology which was developed in Japan in 1975, has won praise for its simplicity and cost effectiveness.

“It is a sure way help Kenya manage the menace of solid wastes using little money, materials and manpower,” he said.

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said JKUAT scholars had undertaken a number of research on solid waste management, including on how to deal with the infiltration of non-biodegradable plastics and e-waste.

Kiambu Deputy Governor Githinji addresses the ceremony

Prof. Imbuga added that the synergy between JKUAT and Fukuoka will also lead to staff and student exchange programmes besides human capacity building for the country and region.

Kiambu County Deputy Governor Gerald Githinji said as the county which home to 7 of the 10 fastest growing towns in Kenya, Kiambu had prioritized waste management programmes and was looking to adopt the Fukuoka Method Landfill.

The Deputy Governor urged the two universities to mount training and research on solid waste management, which he said remained a core development concern as only 34% of Kenyans have access to sanitation facilities.

Shinjiro Amameishi who represented JICA Kenya Office head Keiko Sano, said JICA together with UN-Habitat was supporting a coalition of 24 African countries under the African Clean Cities Platform to mobilize public and private funds towards solid waste management.

The Director, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Africa hailed the partnership, saying that it would form a linchpin in efforts to manage solid waste in Africa. He noted that up to 442000 tonnes of solid wastes will be generated in Africa per day by 2025, up from 17000 tonnes in 2012.

A section of the participants at the end of the MoU signing ceremony

Part of the challenge in managing wastes in Africa, he added, was limited financial resources in the backdrop of technological and organizational weaknesses; all of which could be circumnavigated by deploying the Fukuoka Method Landfill.

The Director was represented at the Ceremony by the Agency’s Human Settlement Officer, Mutinta Munyati.

The Fukuoka Method facilitates decomposition and stabilization of landfills through supply of oxygen. The process also slows down generation of unstable gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide while enhancing the quality & safety of the liquid that drains from a landfill.