Mwala MP Eng. Vincent Musyoka has presented a petition in Parliament seeking answers on the pollution of Athi River.
In the petition to the house on Tuesday 22nd November, The MP raised an alarm of locals getting various diseases from using water from the River because some use it directly.
“Article 42 of the constitution states that every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment. Article 62 (1) defines all rivers as public land while article 69 (1) mandates the state to establish systems of environmental impact assessment, audit, and monitoring of the environment.” Mwala MP said.
” For several years now, River Athi has been blatantly polluted with heavy metals and harmful chemicals. The discoloration of the River’s water indicates that the pollution source is in Nairobi with various companies openly releasing their waste and sewer to the river. The pollution is a serious health hazard that exposes Machakos residents to infections such as Cholera, Disease infections in the view that most people consume the water directly.” He went on.
The legislator further claimed that several residents living along the river have already tested positive for cancer owing to the presence of chemicals and heavy metals. He added that the pollution was affecting his mini-hydro project.
“A number of residents living along the River have already tested positive for cancer which is directly linked to the presence of chemicals and heavy metals in the River. Further, the pollution is affecting the hydroelectric project by the MP for Mwala meant to pump water for small-scale farming since the use of polluted water for irrigating vegetables and other plants predisposes residents to multiple diseases. Efforts to have the matter addressed by the relevant authorities have not borne fruit.” MP Vincent added.
The legislator asked the Public petition committee to engage the Government chemist and NEMA to ascertain the specific chemicals and heavy metals in the water and use that to identify the responsible companies. Further to secure clean up of the River through budgetary related provisions and intervene to bring an end to further pollution and withdrawal of licenses of the companies polluting the river and other water bodies.
Last month, Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti revealed that most cases of cancer in Machakos are from Mwala linking that to the pollution of the River Athi. Missed the story? check it out below;