Panic grips Kambu residents as cooking oil from train accident floods farms and rivers

A train ferrying cooking oil that was involved in an accident earlier in the week resulting in massive oil spillage. (Photo credit - Courtesy)

Residents of Kamulalani in Makueni county are appealing to the Government to move with speed and investigate environmental hazards brought about by cooking oil spillage following a train accident in Kambu earlier this week.

Led by their Mtito Andei MCA Francis Mulwa, the locals lamented that their farms and rivers are full of oil, stressing the dire need for immediate action. The now confused locals said that they need to be given an environmental impact assessment report soon.

Mulwa called upon the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to push Kenya railways to commence cleaning of the areas affected by the oil spillage.

“Residents are counting losses, their lands, farms, and rivers are full of the oil and even the trees have started to show signs of drying up that’s why we are urging the government to move with speed and commence inquiry in the matter,” said Mulwa.

“Our people are suffering, they are confused and NEMA should compel Kenya railways to begin the cleanup of the affected areas before more damage is done. We need our land restored. We are not sure what type of oil or is but we had earlier been told it’s crude palm oil, “The MCA added.

The MCA urged residents to continue monitoring their land and plantations to establish the intensity of the damage. The oil spillage happened on Wednesday after a cargo train ferrying oil from KAPA derailed at Kambu.

The train is said to have stalled at Kalimani before rolling back at a high speed ripping off the rails of the old meter gauge. Residents have since been warned by the water resources authority against fetching the spilled oil.

Residents of Thange, Makueni County who were affected by an oil spill in May 2015, last year took the Kenya Pipeline Company to court demanding a compensation of 8 billion. Many of the locals lost their cattle, crops in their farms and some are still having health conditions which are a result of the oil spill.

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