MACHAKOS – Governor Wavinya Ndeti of Machakos County has made an urgent appeal for the national government to prioritize the decontamination of the Athi River. This call to action comes in response to a rise in waterborne diseases among the residents of Mwala Subcounty, which have been attributed to the use of water from the significantly polluted river.
According to Kenya News Agency, there has been a noticeable increase in cancer diagnoses and other waterborne diseases in the region. The Governor stressed the importance of accelerating the river’s clean-up operations to address this alarming development. She noted, “Many residents of Mwala have been diagnosed with cancer as a result of the polluted water. My expectations is that the commission we formed in partnership with the national government will speed up the clean-up.”
In her statement, Governor Wavinya disclosed that her administration has established a cancer screening and treatment center at the Machakos Level Five Hospital, focusing on serving patients from the communities adjacent to the river. Furthermore, she urged the local population to utilize the current short rain season to collect rainwater for household and agricultural use, emphasizing the practice of organic farming to cultivate nutritious food.
The event was also attended by Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka, who highlighted the imperative for elected officials to serve the Kenyan populace with humility and to shun division based on political party lines or ethnic background. “Elections are over, it does not matter which party you were elected on as a leader. What is important now is for us to serve Kenyans and avoid nepotism or tribalism,” stated Lusaka.
The collaborative efforts between the county and the national government reflect a growing concern over environmental health issues and their direct impact on public health, aiming to prompt immediate action to safeguard the well-being of the communities reliant on the Athi River.