Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital Waste Incinerator: A Smoke-Filled Cloud of Controversy

Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital (GCH) in Nairobi, Kenya, has been shrouded in controversy since the installation of its controversial waste incinerator in 2014. The incinerator, designed to address the hospital’s waste management challenges, has sparked numerous concerns and protests from the community due to its massive smoke plume and alleged health hazards.

The Problem with the Incinerator:

  • Smoke Plume: The incinerator produces a significant smoke plume that visibly pollutes the air, impacting surrounding neighborhoods and casting a shroud of black smoke over the hospital grounds.
  • Health Concerns: Residents near the hospital have reported respiratory problems, headaches, and other health issues linked to the incinerator smoke.
  • Environmental Damage: The incinerator releases harmful pollutants, including particulate matter, heavy metals, and dioxins, which can contaminate soil and water sources.
  • Noise Pollution: The incinerator operates 24/7, creating a constant hum and roar that disturbs sleep and daily activities.

Environmental Impact:

Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital is located in a densely populated residential area. The incinerator’s smoke plume has become a prominent eyesore and a major health hazard for nearby communities. The air pollution caused by the incinerator has been linked to numerous health problems, including respiratory problems, asthma, and cardiovascular disease.

Community Reactions:

The incinerator has sparked widespread outrage and protests from the community. Residents have expressed concerns about the potential health impacts, environmental damage, and the negative impact on their quality of life. The smoke plume has also become a source of embarrassment and shame for the hospital, which has been criticized for prioritizing convenience over the well-being of its neighbors.

Health Concerns FAQs:

Q: Can the incinerator smoke cause health problems?

A: Yes, the incinerator smoke can cause health problems, including respiratory problems, asthma, and cardiovascular disease.

Q: What are the environmental impacts of the incinerator?

A: The incinerator releases harmful pollutants into the air, water, and soil. These pollutants can contaminate drinking water sources, pollute the air, and harm wildlife.

Q: What are the community’s concerns about the incinerator?

A: The community’s concerns about the incinerator include its smoke plume, health hazards, and noise pollution. The incinerator has also been a source of embarrassment and shame for the hospital.


The waste incinerator at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital is a controversial issue that has caused significant harm to the surrounding community. While the hospital intended to address its waste management challenges, the incinerator has exacerbated environmental and health problems. The controversy surrounding the incinerator is a reminder of the importance of environmental sustainability and the need for hospitals to prioritize the well-being of their neighbors.


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