Kenya: Bedbugs Torment Villagers in Tharaka Nithi

Residents of Kandungu village in Maara, Tharaka Nithi County are having sleepless nights following the invasion of bedbugs.

The blood-sucking parasites have tormented them for months now as all efforts to eliminate them, including exposing bedding to the sun, remain futile.

Ms Mary Mutembei, an 80-year-old resident, says the pesky pests invaded her home last year and have never left despite several interventions.

"I expose my bedding to the sun and other times pour hot water on the earthen floor of my house but the bedbugs still survive," she laments.

Another local, Mr Nicholas Kimathi, who is also a village elder, is worried that the bedbugs could spread diseases in the community and urged the government, NGOs and even individuals to intervene.

Mass fumigation

On Monday, Chuka University commenced mass fumigation of affected homesteads. Vice-Chancellor Erastus Njoka, who officiated the exercise, said the spraying will continue for weeks.

"After fumigating all infected homesteads we will wait for two weeks and then spray again to make sure that the threat is no more," said Prof Njoka.

The don also challenged the Tharaka Nithi County Government to improve health standards in the area by providing residents with piped water for domestic use. He said the university will also make attempt establish the source of the bedbug outbreak and provide a lasting solution.

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