Four building owners arrested for dumping sewage into river Thiba

The County Government of Kirinyaga has launched a major crackdown against building owners discharging sewage into river Thiba and Nyamindi.

The crackdown, which began on Tuesday, saw four building owners nabbed for directing their sewer lines into river Thiba. They are set to appear in court charged with violating the Public Health act.

The crackdown is being undertaken by a multi-agency team from the County Government, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination.

Governor Anne Waiguru has warned building owners against disposing of their untreated effluent into the rivers and has directed the department of Environment, Energy, Climate Change, Natural Resources, Water, and Irrigation Services to undertake cleaning of the rivers and other sources of water.

The Governor has urged residents to remain vigilant and report cases of sewer lines that are being directed into rivers. County Executive Committee Member for Medical Services, Public Health, and Sanitation George Karoki said that building owners constructing near rivers should ensure that their premises have septic tanks that would eventually connect to the upcoming county sewer system.

Karoki cautioned that draining sewage into rivers is unhygienic and could cause disease outbreaks, especially with the outbreak of cholera reported in some parts of the country. He said waste water discharge contains several harmful substances or chemicals that may cause adverse effects on people’s health, environmental impacts such as changes in aquatic habitats, species composition, and a decrease in biodiversity.

The county government, with the help of the national government, is setting up a sewer system that will connect Kerugoya, Kutus, Kagio, and Sagana town to provide a permanent solution to sewage management.

Chief Officer for Water and Irrigation Services Peter Murimi said the department would undertake a major exercise to clean up Thiba and Nyamindi rivers.

The County Director of NEMA, Ezra Ng’ang’a, said that the crackdown will continue, and those found on the wrong side will face the long arm of the law.

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