Kenya: Polluters Put on Notice as Drainage Unclogging Begins in Nairobi

Nairobi — Stern action will be taken against owners of business premises that dump waste in undesignated areas leading to blockage of drainage systems.

This was said by Nairobi County Environment CEC Veska Kangongo and her counterpart in Infrastructure Hitan Majevda who have been tasked by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to oversee the unclogging of drainage systems before the onset of the long rains.

Speaking in Umoja 1 Ward, Kangogo urged residents to dump waste in designated areas to avoid clogging the drainage systems which eventually leads to flooding especially during the rainy season.

She said unclogging is now at 70 per cent, but the big challenge has been illegal dumping because after the drainage systems are unclogged the following day waste is dumped, and the cycle goes on.

"After going round, most of our drainage systems have been blocked by waste meaning we don't dispose our waste well and we end up clogging the systems that have been made to ensure smooth flow of water. I want to urge the public to dispose waste at the designated areas given by the county to avoid this," she urged.

According to the Nairobi City County Solid Waste Management Act 2015, anyone who contravenes the Act by dumping waste illegally shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh300,000 or to an imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.

The Nairobi County Government has started the exercise of clearing the drainage in several flood-prone areas in the city ahead of the long rains expected in two weeks' time, according to the weatherman.

Nairobi CEC for Roads and Infrastructure Majevda said they have mapped 10 flood hotspot areas and prioritised them in unclogging their drainage systems, so as to avert flooding in those areas.

"Since rains are coming, we have to clear the drainage because when water stagnates besides the mobility, there are diseases especially cholera and other waterborne disease so as to avoid all this, we want to clear all the flood hotspots in the next one week," he said.

Majevda said that there is enough machinery and personnel in all the 17 sub-counties to deal with the unclogging of the drainage systems.

Some of the estates identified and where works have begun include Umoja, South C, South B, Nairobi West, Langata, Eastleigh, Donholm, Mukuru and Kibera slums.

The two CECs who were recently reinstated by Governor Sonko inspected the unclogging exercise in various sub counties and committed to ensure that no property is lost due to floods, and also that transport is not inconvenienced during rainy season.

Nairobi faces a nightmare during rainy seasons to most of the city residents due to poor drainage or rather poor preparations before the onset of rains.

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