Last update:

Proposed Incinerator at Dandora Landfill in Nairobi, Kenya

Infamous for its overcrowded and hazardous conditions, Dandora landfill has been selected as the site for constructing a new incinerator, which threatens to further marginalize wastepickers there.


In late 2017, The Africa Development Bank’s (AfDB) Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved a $995,000 grant to Asticom Kenya Ltd. for construction of a 10 to 40MW grid-connected waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration plant at the Dandora Landfill site in Kibera, a suburb of Nairobi, Kenya [1,2]. The grant funds a full environmental and social impact assessment, detailed engineering designs, and project-related legal and financial advisory services. The incinerator would generate electricity by converting municipal solid waste from the Dandora landfill into biogas and ethanol [2]. The project is being presented as a beneficial development project, and according to the AfDB, “The planned diversion and use of municipal solid waste is set to have significant health, social and development outcomes, and will be of benefit to the inhabitants of Kibera, a community that receives 1,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste daily from Nairobi County”[1]. The project aligns with AfDB’s High 5 development priorities, which include an agenda to “Light up and Power Africa”, a 10-Year Strategy, a Private Sector Development Strategy (2013-2017), an Energy Sector Policy (2012) and the New Deal on Energy for Africa. It is also being promoted as a means of implementing Kenya’s National Development Plan and the AfDB’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Kenya, which prioritises the “enabling of physical infrastructure to unleash inclusive growth”[1].

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Proposed Incinerator at Dandora Landfill in Nairobi, Kenya
State or province:Nairobi
Location of conflict:Kibera
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Incinerators
Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Industrial waste
Recycled Metals
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The pilot phase of this project which is also Phase1 of the project will be located in Kibera, Nairobi city. This is a single line facility with a capacity of 260 tons per day, and a total of 75,000 tons per annum. For this pilot phase, the output will be biomethane and electricity. The main facility has capacity of 250,000 tons per annum and the outputs will be biomethane, ethanol and electricity (

See more
Project area:15
Level of Investment:197,000,000
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:Approximately 1 million local inhabitants
Start of the conflict:12/01/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Asticom Kenya Ltd. from Kenya - Project Construction
Relevant government actors:David Makori, Director of Environment in Nairobi County
International and Finance InstitutionsAfrican Development Bank (AfDB) from Cote d'Ivoire
Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) from Cote d'Ivoire - Funder
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Wastepickers, recyclers
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Land dispossession
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The incinerator has been planned and construction will follow. Efforts to integrate wastepickers have not been proposed.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Takouleu, Jean Marie. “KENYA: After Addis Ababa, Nairobi Will Incinerate Waste and Produce Electricity.” Afrik 21, Publishing 21, 13 Jan. 2019.
[click to view]

[3] “Special Report for #Closedumpsites: Kenya's Dandora Dumpsite - a Health and Environmental Tragedy.” ISWA, International Solid Waste Association, 14 Nov. 2017.
[click to view]

[5] Matinde, Vincent. “Nairobi's Waste to Energy Plant's Assessment Report Out.” WeeTracker, 8 Oct. 2019.
[click to view]

[1] Roy, Deblina. “Kenya to Build 10MW Waste-to-Energy Electricity Plant.” African Review, Alain Charles Publishing Ltd., 22 Dec. 2017.
[click to view]

[4] Najimesi, Leroy. “Kenya to Construct US $197m Incineration Plant.” Construction Review Online, Group Africa Publishing, 17 Jan. 2019.
[click to view]

Other documents Wastepickers sorting materials at the Dandora dumpsite.
[click to view] Arrival of a truck at Dandora landfill.
[click to view] The release of toxic gases from Dandora landfill, which is almost always burning.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rickie Cleere, University of Bayreuth - ICTA, [email protected]
Last update22/12/2019
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.