Sectoral Coordination in Kenya’s Municipal Solid Waste Management: A Horizontal Assessment


Wambua Kituku et. al.
PhD Candidate
Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP)
University of Nairobi


In 2010, Kenya adopted a constitution that created a two-tier devolved system of government whereby counties assumed significant environmental management responsibilities from national government, including municipal solid waste management (MSWM). Like most developing countries, Kenya is faced with an intractable MSWM challenge, characterized by poor waste handling and treatment as well as ever-growing volumes of waste generation. The institutional setting for MSWM is also characterised by regulatory fragmentation, with multiple regulatory regimes and institutions which are beset by conflicts and overlaps, both at National and county levels. Sectoral coordination is critical in ensuring effective integration of environmental considerations in development processes at the same tier of government, a concept known as horizontal environmental integration (HEI).
This paper analyses the sectoral coordination in MSWM and its contribution to HEI, an area that has attracted limited research. It is contended that despite the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and County authorities having legal mandate to pursue sectoral coordination in MSWM at the respective levels governments, this has not translated into effective horizontal environmental integration of the sector, thus undermining integrated and sustainable approaches to addressing the waste problem in urban areas. Unless the normative and organizational issues as well as gaps in the application of integration tools raised in this paper are addressed within the context of ongoing reforms in MSWM, sustainability of the sector cannot be guaranteed.


Horizontal environmental integration; sectoral coordination; Municipal solid waste management; Sustainability.             LEAD Journal - ISSN 1746-5893