Disease fears as landlords dump raw sewage into open drains

Ruai sewage

Some of the open drainage systems where building owners at Nanyuki's Ruai estate are being accused of emptying human waste from septic tanks. Tenants are living in fear of an outbreak of water borne diseases.

Photo credit: Mwangi Ndirangu I Nation Media Group

Residents of Ruai estate in Nanyuki town, Laikipia County, are living in fear of a cholera outbreak as landlords continue to dump raw sewage into open drainage.

The neighbourhood, on the outskirts of the town, is not connected to the sewerage and landlords are taking advantage of the ongoing rains to empty septic tanks onto roads to be washed away by floods.

"This place stinks because the landlords are not willing to pay for the service of emptying the septic tanks, in the hope that the human waste will be washed away by the rainwater. In recent days, cholera outbreaks have been reported in other parts of the country. Nanyuki town could be next,” said Mr Fidel Wangai, a resident.

When Nation.Africa visited the area, there were several open drains with the filth flowing, while others had turned into stagnant pools due to blockages caused by uncollected garbage littering the area.  

"The sewage finds its way to the gate of the mosque, inconveniencing worshippers. When it rains, the filth flows onto the roads and pathways and residents have to wade through the murky water to reach their destinations," said Mr Rajab Ibrahim, the Imam of Ruai Mosque.

Residents have appealed to the county government to take stern action against building owners who put the health of their tenants at risk of water-borne diseases by flouting the National Environment Management Authority guidelines on waste disposal.

Laikipia County Water and Environment CEC Leah Njeri did not immediately respond to the concerns when contacted.

"I am currently in a meeting and will get back to you soon," she said on the phone, but had not responded by the time of going to press.


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