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Blocked Sewerage line Pose Health Risk in Murang’a Estate

Residents of a Murang’a town estate are at risk of contracting diseases after raw sewer flowed to their farms and homes following blockage of sewerage line from a local secondary school.

For about six months, there has been a tussle between Murang’a Boys High School and Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company (Muwasco) about the sewerage line, something which has seen raw sewer channeled to people’s farms.

The residents who talked to members of the press on Monday lamented that they have been living in fear of getting diseases since the sewer sometimes overflows to their houses.

Rose Wanjiru who neighbours the high school observed that during the rainy season, the raw sewer flooded her home compound, affecting her children.

She said the sewer produces a bad smell forcing them to spend time away from their homes.

The tussle about the sewer line started early this week when the administration of the school blocked the line citing trespassing.

Another resident Chris Mwangi said lack of a sewerage line in the estate has slowed down investment as many land owners opted to avoid putting up residential houses until the tussle is solved.

Mwangi said currently, some tenants have moved from rental houses in the estate as the raw sewerage is openly exposed on ground.

“We need this problem to be solved now and the line which was blocked to be opened.  The raw sewer is putting the lives of hundreds of local people at risk of contradicting diseases,” added Mwangi.

A resident, Chege Njuguna explaining how dirty water channeled into his farm has affected his family.
Photos by Bernard Munyao.

On his part, Muwasco Managing Director Eng. Daniel Ng’ang’a said the sewerage line which cuts across the school compound was constructed at a tune of Sh800, 000 by the company in partnership with the county government.

Ng’ang’a told members of the press that the line served more than 300 households and currently, the dirty water is flowing to people’s farms after the school administration opted to block the line.

“The school destroyed a 600-meter sewer line and we are still discussing how the matter will be solved. The institution also moved to court but the case they filed was dismissed. We hope a solution will be found soon,” he added.

Being a public facility, the managing director said the school should have lee way for utilities like water and sewerage pipes.

The school’s Parents Association Chairman Captain Amos Njoroge admitted the institution blocked the pipe saying the water company erred by trespassing on the school’s compound.

Njoroge in a rejoinder said the school was forced to construct a bio digester but dirty water from neighbouring residential houses was negatively affecting performance of the facility.

“As chair of the parents association, I can confirm that this school constructed a bio-digester at a cost of Sh4.5 million. The facility is supposed to operate well without including water with soap. We cannot allow the company to trespass on the institution’s land,” added Njoroge.

The tussle between the school and the water company has left many local residents wondering when a solution would be arrived at saying the dirty water is putting their lives at risk.

“We want a solution to be arrived as soon as possible as we are on verge of contracting diseases like cholera. The county government needs to intervene and get us a way forward,” added another resident Beth Wangari.

By Bernard Munyao

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