Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Yatta Member of Parliament Hon. Francis Mwangangi makes a point at Kabaa Bridge along River Athi

Yatta Member of Parliament Hon. Francis Mwangangi makes a point at Kabaa Bridge along River Athi

Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources experienced firsthand the massive pollution that has endlessly chocked Athi River.

And as the lawmakers were taken on a guided tour of sections of River Athi to ascertain claims of pollution, residents hoped a permanent solution would be found to save their lives from toxic waste finding its way into the river.

The visits were prompted by a petition to Parliament by Yatta Member Francis Mwangangi on behalf of his constituents who complained of the massive pollution of the river.

The MPs led by the acting chairperson of the Committee and M P for Kitui East, Mutua Muluvi made stop over’s at Kabaa Bridge and Wamunyu along the river. They later held a public hearing in Katangi in Yatta Constituency, Machakos County.

Some of waste collected in River Athi by residents of Kabaa

Some of waste collected in River Athi by residents of Kabaa

During the meeting, residents of Yatta constituency decried the alarming rate of pollution that adversely affected their health, livestock and farm produce. “We use water from the river to cook food, eat which makes us sick since we do not have an alternative”, said Pastor Musembi, a local resident.

Mwala MP Eng. Vincent Musyoki on the other hand said the main source of pollution was from Nairobi and Kiambu counties. Raw sewage, industrial waste and medical waste are disposed off directly into the river he noted. The situation is worsened by extensive slums built along the river that also discharge raw sewage into it as they lack basic amenities like toilets.

The committee members who included Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Richard Makenga (Kaiti), Ronald Tonui (Bomet Central) were urged to make recommendations that will help save River Athi which is an important source of water for residents of Kajiado, Nairobi, Machakos, Kitui and Makueni counties.

The meeting was attended by among others the Director of Administration in the Ministry of Environment, Charity Chepkonga Bokindo, Director Urban Rivers Restoration Erick Akotsi, and representatives from NEMA, WARMA among others.

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