Nairobi, 07 June 2023 – On the sidelines of the Second Assembly of UN Habitat currently underway at the United Nations in Nairobi, the Ambassador of Italy in Kenya and Permanent Representative to UNEP and UN Habitat, Roberto Natali, and the Director of UN Habitat's Global Solutions Division, Rafael Tuts, signed the agreements to kick off the “Waste Wise Korogocho Chapter” project. The two-year initiative is financed by the Italian Cooperation and implemented by UN Habitat.
The event saw the presence of the Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, Hon. Claudio Barbaro, of the Secretary of Housing of the Ministry of Land, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development of Kenya, Said Athman, and Giovanni Grandi, Head of the Regional Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Nairobi.
The project aims to start a sustainable waste management system in order to improve the social, health and economic conditions of the inhabitants of Korogocho, one of the largest informal settlements in the Kenyan capital. In recent years, the same area has benefited from redevelopment interventions by the Italian Cooperation as part of the Italian-Kenyan debt conversion programme, for a total value of approximately 46 million euros.
As Ambassador Natali said, "The initiative represents a further example of the partnership with UN-Habitat and with the Kenyan authorities, aimed at greater sustainability of urban areas from an environmental perspective. Thanks to the funding of the Waste Wise-Korogocho project, there will be a further positive impact in a neighborhood where Italy's commitment has been continuous, concretely changing the lives of those who unfortunately still live in precarious conditions today". The words of the Ambassador were echoed by what was also expressed by Undersecretary Barbaro, regarding this example of cooperation "perfectly in line with the issues we are addressing in this session of the Assembly" of UN Habitat, which will "positively affect the health of people and on an expansion of their job opportunities”.
Dr Grandi said: “This initiative will introduce a pilot approach to solid waste management in Nairobi, which we hope can be replicated elsewhere. The long-term goal is to work with the private sector, formal and informal, to build a sustainable waste supply chain in Korogocho and Kenya."
Secretary Athman and Director Tuts both expressed heartfelt thanks to Italy for the support, stating, the first, that "the intervention is perfectly in line with the priorities of the Kenyan government" and, the second, that this "represents a powerful testament to the shared vision, values and goals that unite us and underscores our commitment to sustainable development in Kenya by promoting the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.”