The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has opposed plans by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho to relocate Kibarani dumpsite to Mwakirunge, which is on a flight path.
KCAA’s Director-General Gilbert Kibe said Mwakirunge site, which is about 20 kilometres from Mombasa town, has a navigation aid that planes use when approaching to land at Moi International Airport.
Kibarani, which is the largest and oldest dumpsite in the tourism city ,is an eyesore for both tourists and residents. The dumpsite is located along Mombasa-Nairobi highway. Its closure has been delayed due to rains as the devolved unit seeks an alternative site for dumping garbage.
KCAA said Mwakirunge dumpsite interferes with aviation procedures. “KCAA does not support the dumpsite relocation to Mwakirunge as the site has a navigation aid that planes fly over low on final approach to land at Moi International Airport,” Mr Kibe told Nation.
However, Mombasa Environment Executive Godffrey Nato said the county will relocate the dumpsite to Mwakirunge as per the governor’s orders issued in April.
Mr Joho had ordered his officials to shut down the dumpsite and relocate it to Mwakirunge by last month. Kibarani is set to be turned into a recreational park.
The devolved unit has now found itself in a dilemma due KCAA’s opposition on the relocation.
The authority had earlier said the dumpsite should be 13km away from flight path, but Mwakirunge is 12.9km away, meaning 100 metres is within the flight path.
Mr Kibe noted that take-off and landing is always dangerous because of birds that scavenge at the dumpsite.
In May, a plane belonging to German leisure airline Condor made an emergency landing at the Mombasa airport after two crows flew into one of the plane’s engines. The plane was taking tourists to Zanzibar. Cases of bird strikes are increasingly being cited as the cause of emergency landings at the Mombasa airport.
The county government had allocated Sh30 million to fight the birds, but the plans were dropped due to uproar from residents.
The airport’s Manager Walter Agong and National Environment Management Authority County Director Stephen Wambua had also raised concern over the relocation.
But Deputy Governor William Kingi told Nation the county government is looking for alternative sites to dump garbage.
"We are not keen on Mwakirunge. It is just temporary. But we are in talks with a partner to help us in designing three quarries to accommodate garbage without causing environmental concerns," he said.