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Cleaner Cities, Brighter Futures: Kenyan Communities Embrace Game-Changing Waste Management Initiative

By Practical Action On 22.09.2023 Water & wastePress release

Thousands of people are set to benefit from a new partnership focused on tackling waste management issues in Kenya. Starting from 2024, Riviera Travel will donate £1 for every holiday booking made to Practical Action.

The donations will fund a new project addressing the east African country’s waste management challenges. As well as creating employment opportunities for local waste collectors, it aims to improve waste collection and management processes and foster a cleaner environment.

The two-year project will work with over 2,000 households and 100 waste workers in Kisumu, Kenya’s third-largest city.

Rivera travel logo on a white background promoting Cleaner Cities.

Practical Action’s Africa Director, Akinyi Walender, said, “By working with Riviera Travel, we can create lasting solutions for waste management in Kisumu. This partnership is a testament to the idea that the travel experience can extend beyond sightseeing and exploration; it can be a force for good.

“Riviera Travel and its customers will be instrumental in improving the environment. This signifies our shared commitment to ensuring a healthier and cleaner future for the local communities, creating jobs, increasing incomes, changing behaviour and attitudes around recycling, and enhancing the overall well-being of the people in the region.

Informal waste workers’ feedback will help reduce plastic pollution across Kenya, demonstrating that big change starts small.”

A game-changing waste management initiative empowers Kenyan communities to embrace cleaner cities and brighter futures.


Waste management is a huge challenge in Kenya. On average, the country currently generates  up to 400 tonnes of waste each day. Kisumu, where the new project will be sited, generates around 252 tonnes of waste, 23 of which are plastics. Only 39% of this waste is estimated to be collected, and comparative estimates from cities such as Mombasa, suggest that only around 15% is recycled. That leaves an estimated 4.87 tonnes of plastic polluting the environment daily.

Kenya is not alone: globally, the problem of our mounting waste and its disposal is daunting, especially in urban areas and slums. As more people migrate from rural areas into urban centres, the amount of waste generated globally is expected to increase to 3.4 billion tonnes over the next 30 years (compared to 2.1 billion tonnes in 2016), according to a report by the World Bank in 2018.

By addressing the waste management challenges in the area, the project aims to mitigate health risks associated with poor waste disposal practices, minimize environmental pollution, and foster sustainable economic development.


The project, when completed, will:

  • Reach over 2,000 households to remove 67 tonnes of plastic over two years from the environment, recycling around 33 tonnes, equivalent to three garbage trucks.
  • Reduce the number of waste hotspots in the city, including the Auji River, used for dumping waste.
  • Improve the efficiency and coverage of waste collection services by connecting informal waste workers with existing aggregators, traders, and processing plants.
  • Work with local government and informal waste collectors to encourage waste separation at the household level and effect behaviour change across the city.
  • Organise clean-up campaigns and other behaviour change initiatives to increase take-up of collection services and encourage household waste separation.
  • Provide over 300 informal waste workers with training and safety equipment and help them to form cooperatives, ensuring better pay, conditions, and workforce rights.
  • Work with Kenya Plastics Pact, to reduce the amount of plastic packaging entering the waste system nationally.

Practical Action and Riviera Travel Partnership

Phil Hullah, Riviera Travel’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are thrilled to support Practical Action’s waste management project in Kisumu through this collaboration.

“The team at Riviera is committed to sustainable, ethical, and responsible travel. As our new charity partner, their work aligns with our values through the exciting projects they have in the pipeline.

“Our goal is to support work or practices that enhance the health and well-being of the community and contribute to the region’s sustainability. Practical Action is dedicated to achieving that, and we are confident that this partnership will help amplify the voices of communities on the front line of the climate crisis.”

The new waste management project in Kenya is financed by Riviera Travel and implemented by Practical Action.