KISUMU, Kenya, Jul 18 – The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has called for the relocation of a dumpsite in Kachok on the outskirts of Kisumu amid reports of increased bird strikes at the lakeside city’s international airport.
KAA General Manager in charge of operations and safety, Harrison Machio, told the press in Kisumu on Thursday the airport was leading in the number of bird strikes reported in the country’s airports.
“This airport in Kenya is leading in terms of birds strikes according to our statistics and data,” he said.
Machio said bird strikes on aircrafts is costly given the amount spent on aircraft maintenance and can at the same time lead to aircrafts accidents.
“At some point, Kenya was losing close to Sh1 billion annually on aircraft maintenance and downtime in bird strike related costs,” he said.
Machio called upon Kisumu County Government to ensure dumpsites are not directly located along flight paths which increase the chances of the occurrence of bird strikes.
“The county governments and all the agencies dealing with refuse collection, they should not allocate such dumpsite on direct flight paths because the impact is obvious,” he said.
“It is important to note that wildlife and in particular bird population are greatly influenced by our land use, airspace use and in general, our environmental management strategies,” he noted.
Machio said the proximity of the Kisumu International Aiprot to Lake Victoria had also contributed significantly to bird strike incidents.
Kisumu County has started the process to relocate the dumpsite from Kachok to a quarry in Kajulu in the outskirts of the city.