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Farmers rear pigs on dumpsite

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(23 Sep 2017) LEAD IN:Thousands of people and animals in Kenya make their living by scavenging waste in the country's biggest dumpsite."Dump farmers" let their pigs roam freely in the dumpsite where unlimited scraps of food and pools of mud make it an ideal environment for pig rearing.STORYLINE:These are some very happy pigs.Unlimited supplies of food are delivered to them.In fact, here at East Africa's biggest dumpsite, 850 to 1500 tonnes of solid waste arrives every day. And there are countless pools of mud in which the pigs can cool down and frolic.The pigs share the spoils with up to an estimated 10-thousand people and hundreds of Marabou storks that scavenge waste every day at Dandora Municipal Dumpsite, Nairobi's only landfill.It was declared full in 2001, but has remained active and last month's ban on plastic bags has been a major contributor to the towering piles of trashJust eight kilometres (five miles) from the capital's city centre, the lives of one million people living in the surrounding neighbourhoods are interconnected with the nearly 30 million tonnes of waste at Dandora.The health and environmental consequences are tragic - there is air pollution from open-air rubbish burning, water and soil contamination from toxic waste, and fires fuelled by landfill gas and chemicals.Yet amidst the tragedy of it, many see the dumpsite as their only chance at survival.With Africa's growing population and urbanisation rate putting pressures on limited land resources, Dandora provides an excellent environment for pig rearing.Over fifty percent of the vast amounts of solid waste dumped untreated into the landfill every day is organic in nature.Pig farmer Alex Ngiduku Machari, 29, has grown up in Dandora.He owns 42 pigs – 10 of which he keeps in a pen, and the rest he lets roam the dumpsite.Machari says the pigs reared amongst the rubbish are more profitable than the ones in the pen."That pig, I release it in the morning, it goes then comes back. That pig can bring me money faster since it eats during the day as well as the evening, meaning its active thus it grows faster than the caged ones. Also, it doesn't have many expenses since I don't buy food for it. It goes and fetches food for itself then comes back in the evening to just sleep."Commercial pig farming in Kenya is extremely lucrative, with one pig fetching up to 25-thousand Kenyan shillings (242 US dollars).Pigs have a very high profit potential because they cost little to feed and maintain, they grow faster than other livestock and their reproduction system is ready at an earlier age."The ones that are not caged can earn you money. If you have ten, by the time they get to four or five months, they are ready to fetch you some money because they are active and run around. The caged ones are always sleeping. They just eat and go back to to sleep. But the uncaged ones are active. When released they are active."Machari's small farm in the dumpsite helps to provide for his family, allowing him to pay for his children's education.But he says he often struggles because the pigs very often get stolen from the dumpsite as they roam freely.Near the entrance of the site, where trucks enter through a weigh bridge, young Regina Wambori scavenges for food that she can sell to farmers.Much of it is food left uneaten by air travellers and comes straight from Nairobi's international airport."People come from far and they come to buy," she says."We go into (the dumpsite) to look for food and come to sell to this guy at 50 Kenyan shillings (0.48 US dollars)."Dandora is ran by a network of armed cartels that levy a security fee on trucks delivering waste at the site.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4117029 accddf3b62f55220918f641823902e85 HZ Kenya Pigs Nairobi Kenya East Africa Animals Environment and nature Business
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