More than 20 families have been cut off from accessing schools, churches and shopping centers after a contractor harvested water hyacinth and dumped it on the only entrance used to reach the Lakeside city’s Central Business District (CBD).
For two weeks, the residents of Nanga area in Nyalenda estate, Kisumu county continue staring at the blockage caused by poorly disposed water hyacinth, plastic materials, needles and syringes exposing local residents to health hazard.
This is what irked Geoffrey Owino, a local resident who sent a passionate appeal to Nyalenda B Member of the County Assembly (MCA), Joseph Olale to move swiftly and prevail upon the contractor to remove the stubborn weed and dump it elsewhere.
Owino said that although he had a funeral to attend at his rural home in Homa Bay but since the road was blocked by the huge pile of water hyacinth it was impossible to find an alternative route for the car.
“I hoped to use the vehicle to run small errands’ during the mourning period but all this failed owing to the poor disposal of the waste. It is our humble appeal to our MCA (Olale) who was the brain behind the project to come to our rescue,” he added.
His neighbor, Lilian Atieno said we hoped that after removal of the hyacinth a tractor would be sent to have it relocated to another area away from the entrance which has completely rendered their children unable to go to school unless accompanied by the parents.
Atieno said that they have also had to contend with the increased infestation by mosquitoes which exposed the residents to high rates of malaria and other waterborne diseases.
“Although the idea of removing the hyacinth was great, the poor disposal right outside and on the only road we use to access the homes of the more than 20 families shocked us to the bones. We find this unacceptable and impunity of the highest order,” she declared.
Of major concern, they added, was unsuspecting children often go scavenging for used needles and syringes ignorant of the danger they were exposed to apart from the children having to literally be carried to access schools.
When KNA toured the area, the sight was worrying as local residents faced imminent danger. It was, therefore, imperative for the MCA and relevant government institutions including the Ministry of Health to take immediate action to prevent outbreak of an epidemic.
The area was also largely affected when Lake Victoria experienced backflow following heavy rainfall in the region, forcing local residents to abandon their homes in the neighboring posh Milimani estate and parts of Nyalenda.
Some of the serious investors in the area who built houses that cost above Sh60, 000 were subsequently prompted to do panic selling of such property to avoid witnessing a similar effect attributed to adverse weather conditions.
Contacted for comment, MCA Olale told KNA that he was held up in a meeting and so was non-committal as to whether he would give an official position concerning the residents of Nanga despite the passionate appeal for his intervention.
By Joseph Ouma