Today was a great day for Nkaimurunya ward and Eden’s Stewards. We successfully influenced inclusion of environment development projects within the 2019/2020 county budget. It was sad to note that for the last financial years, no environment projects had been budgeted for within development budget for Nkaimurunya ward. On learning about the public participation forum, The director Mr. Rudolf Makhanu mobilized a strong team of Eden’s Stewards members. We did our homework well and picked a multi-disciplinary team comprising a lawyer, Civil Engineer, Analytical chemist, Educationist and environmental planner.
Our main focus was the need to invest more funds in the environment sector (waste management, urban forestry, and sanitation) aimed at having few patients in the hospital. Majority of ailments sorted at hospitals are a result of a polluted environment.
Clad in our branded T-Shirts, we strategically positioned ourselves in different locations of the hall, with each one having a specific issue to present. During group work, that was sector based, the Director chaired discussions for the Environment and water sector, with Martin, also an Eden’s member serving as secretary. Half of the group members in the environment sector were Eden’s members. At one point while prioritizing the issues, we voted, and easily carried the day due to our numbers. During deliberations, there were attempts to influence us to change our priorities. We however remained focused and succeeded to have the following as final priorities;
- Set up a recreation part/Green zone
- Establish a tree nursery
- Storm water management
It was noted that tree planting, purchase of waste collection truck and bins falls within recurrent expenditure thus could not be captured within development budget.
The secretary and Rudolf as chairman happily signed and handed over the final proposal after making a convincing presentation. As we casually walked out of the hall after the closing prayer, we split up and engaged different people in conversations, most of who wanted to know more about us and how we could team up to positively transform the urban environment within Ongata Rongai.