Thika Member of Parliament Patrick Wainaina has issued a red alert over river pollution in Kiambu County.
According to the legislator the Kiambu County government has been discharging raw sewerage into rivers Komo and Ndarugu posing a health risk to thousands of residents who depend on the water for domestic and irrigation purposes.
Wainana has now threatened to sue the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Kiambu County Government for doing little to safeguard the lives of the residents living downstream.
“The raw sewerage being discharged into the rivers with impunity is exposing thousands of residents to risks of contracting deadly diseases. I will not tolerate this, the agency mandated to safeguard our environment must toe the line as well as the Kiambu County Government who are behind this pollution,” Wainaina said.
He gave the two entities a two-week ultimatum to address the menace or face legal consequences.
NEMA was established as the principal instrument of government charged with the implementation of all policies relating to the environment, and to exercise general supervision and coordination over all matters relating to the environment.
The body, in consultation with the lead agencies, is empowered to develop regulations, prescribe measures and standards and, issue guidelines for the management and conservation of natural resources and the environment.
In February this year, the Environment ministry warned factories and individuals against discharging effluent into water bodies.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko said culprits will be prosecuted and industries closed.
He directed NEMA to ensure the culprits face full force of the law.
“We’ll shut down the industries discharging effluent into the rivers and destroying people’s lives. This must stop.
“Nema should map out all these polluting sources, serve those not served with notices and then undertake aggressive arrest, prosecution and legal action, ” he said.
In the same month, the authority shut down 2 plants at Kibos Sugar Company in Kisumu.
The private sugar miller had allegedly been disposing toxic chemicals into River Kibos which drains into Lake Victoria.
NEMA is yet to issue a statement on river pollution in Kiambu county.