Ministry not to blame for Cholera, says Ngilu

Water minister Charity Ngilu has absolved her ministry of blame for the Cholera outbreak that has killed 194 people since January.

Water minister Charity Ngilu has said her Ministry is not to blame for the Cholera outbreak that has so far caused 194 deaths in the country since January.

She was speaking in Parliament in response to a question by nominated MP Mohammed Affey.

While the minister acknowledged that the mode of spreading the disease was due to dirty or contaminated water, she maintained that there were “other factors” that ought to be looked at.

“Unhygienic conditions cannot be blamed on water, it has to do with public awareness on public health,” the minister said.

Ms Ngilu was put to the task by four nominated MPs –Mr Affey, Shakila Abdallah, Mohammed Dor and Rachel Shebesh— over the water scarcity in some areas of the country.

The MPs argued that it was due to the lack of clean water that made it difficult for people, especially those in arid areas like Turkana and Mandera, to maintain cleanliness.

Gichugu MP Martha Karua (Narc Kenya) sought an assurance from Ms Ngilu that “those licensed to supply water to the public, did supply clean water.”

In the end, Ms Abdalla sought to have the matter addressed by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga since it “required government coordination.”

The cholera outbreak ropes in the ministries of Water, Medical Services and that of Public Health and Sanitation.

Before that, Ms Abdalla had demanded that the outbreak be investigated by the House Committee on Health, but deputy Speaker Farah Maalim said “any committee that saw it as to be within its mandate was free to investigate.”

The scarcity of water remains the foremost question of waterborne diseases, even as the minister insists that the government does provide clean water and that it does treat water or give water treatment tablets to those in need.

Ms Ngilu said the ministry had already sunk 500 boreholes and that 30 water tankers had been dispatched to mitigate the water shortage in arid areas.