The Star (Nairobi)

20 November 2012

Kenya: Kisumu Town Stinking, Traders Protest to Mayor

The business community has accused the Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company and the Municipal Council of Kisumu of dragging their feet in dealing with the problems of burst sewer lines.

Traders on the main bus terminus and the Jubilee Market said burst sewer pipes is posing a health hazard to their customers. A spot check by the Star at the weekend, revealed a stench emanating from the burst sewer line, opposite the Tuskys Supermarket where majority of the city residents go for shopping.

Kisumu City Residence Voice chairman Audi Ogada accused the Ministry of Public Health of doing little to rectify the situation. Ogada said the water company has failed to address the situation which it is tasked to do. "It is unfortunate that Kiwasco has failed to deal with the problem of the burst sewer lines," said Ogada.

He added that the town's entire drainage system is wanting. This problem has persisted for long and for the last one month now people have had to bear with the stench. It is time the situation is addressed," said the chairman.

Ogada issued a seven-day notice to Kiwasco and Municipal Council to address the problem or the association goes to court. "We will also not spare the Ministry of Public Health for not pushing the the water company and the council into doing something," Ogada said.

Kiwasco's customer relations manager Frank Ochieng' said they were doing their best to save the situation. "We have started the repair work and by the end of the week we will have dealt with the situation," Ochieng' said.

But Ogada insisted that no work has begun in regard to addressing the bust sewer line in the town. He called on the Municipal council to liaise with KIWASCO to do the work.

Last Week, Kisumu mayor Sam Okello accused senior council officials of sleeping on the job and absconding their duty. Okello said the officers seem to have given up on the local authorities and are waiting for the county governments.

He pointed out that they paralyse the council's operations on Fridays as they leave early for the weekend and return late on Monday or even on Tuesday. The traders in Kisumu yesterday attributed the pathetic state of the town to the officers' laxity at work.

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