Chelugui promises radical measures to curb Nairobi River pollution

Saturday, August 17th, 2019 00:00 |
Nairobi River. Photo/Courtesy

Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has promised to introduce radical measures to curb contamination of Nairobi River after it emerged it has over 1, 404 pollutants.

He vowed tough action would be taken against persons emitting toxic waste to the river including industries, which have been identified as culprits. 

“The level of pollution effluent, defecation and waste, both industrial and human from our settlement areas needs to stop now. This will be so painful because industries will close and estates will be displaced,” he warned during the Status of Dams report in Nairobi on Friday.

“When we have heavy deposits of metals like manganese, lead, mercury in our rivers, we are killing our people. There are people downstream drawing water for domestic use or farming.” 

He said those found to be polluting the river will also be fined and the proceeds used in the rehabilitating the river.

He directed the Water Resource Authority (WRA) to put in place a mechanism to mitigate pollution of water sources. 

“This can be achieved through promoting environmental protection, improving the management of water resources and promoting green industries to improve environmental quality of our rivers,” he said. 

At the same time, Chelugui announced that the government plans to construct 57 dams across the country.

Already, construction of some dams including Siyoi Muruny, Thwake, Mwache, Yamo, Wamba, Itare, Karemenu II have commenced.  

The construction of Bosto and Ruiru II are at an advanced stage to start are set to launch in the coming months. Kenya has 4,100 dams and water pans.

The Status of Dams revealed that there is inadequate maintenance and monitoring of dams in country, a situation that might have contributed to the collapse of the Solai dam where 47 people lost their lives.

More on National