Unchecked pollution of city’s water sources poses health risks to residents

Unchecked pollution of city’s water sources poses health risks to residents.
Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) secretary-general Stephen Mutoro is categorical that it is criminal for anyone to discharge sewage into a waterway and blames the lapse on the county government’s poor surveillance in efforts to end the mess.
Mr Mutoro said due to rampant contamination of water sources, urban farming needs to be licensed to curb practices such as using water polluted with sewage.
“The waste water also contains pathogens that settle on the vegetable leaves since the farmers carry out open field irrigation,” Mr Opondo said.
Prof Ratemo Michieka, a veteran environmental scientist at the University of Nairobi, told the Saturday Nation that lack of access to clean water is a key factor in the use of waste water for irrigation by peri-urban farmers.
“In addition, surface runoff during the rains mixes with clean water in the burst pipes, resulting in contamination.”
Less than two months ago, the country was hit by a devastating cholera outbreak that claimed more than six lives in Nairobi alone, while over 400 others were admitted to hospital.
“Nairobi’s population growth has been accompanied by rapid development of housing units, both informal and formal.
In rural areas, however, access to water sources increased from 33 percent to 57 percent during the same period.
In some instances, the cartels close valves in certain areas to create artificial water shortages to make business for their vendors, according to Mr Mutoro.

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