The government will prosecute industries and individuals discharging waste into rivers across the country.
The Water and Sanitation Principal Secretary (PS), Joseph Irungu has also warned individuals who had constructed houses on the riparian land and were discharging human waste into rivers that they will face the full force of law.
At the same time, the PS called on the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to enforce the relevant laws and prevent such wanton pollution of rivers.
“We have enough laws. It is just a question of enforcement and the regulatory authorities should implement them,” said Irungu during a site visit to Thwake Multi-purpose Dam on Tuesday.
He also urged county governments to help in managing the menace since they play a key role in licensing of industries.
“County Governments are also critical and they need to come in and assist the national government manage the pollution problem that cuts across the country,” he said.
On Thwake Multi-purpose dam, the PS assured that the government will clean both Nairobi and Athi Rivers before the construction of the project is completed in mid-2023.
Accordingly, he said that the government had already put in place elaborate measures to clean the rivers and make the water fit for human consumption.
“The issue of pollution of the two rivers is a genuine concern, however we cannot construct a multi-billion dam that will consist of sewerage. Cleaning the rivers is not a difficult task, and I can assure you it will be done,” reiterated the PS.
He said that the ministry had already conducted mapping of Athi River all the way from the origin in Ngong Hills with a view of curbing pollution along its entire course.
“We have also started regeneration of Nairobi River which drains into Athi River through demolition of structures built on riparian land among other measures,” he said.
On the construction of the dam, the PS said so far 25 percent of the works had been completed against an expected 28 percent.
He said the delay of the 3 percent was occasioned by land acquisition issues but went ahead to disclosed that the contractor will fast-track the works.
“The work is on course, though initially the machinery was poor but the contractor has now enough equipment on the ground,” said Irungu.
The PS was accompanied by the Water Secretary, Eng. Samuel Alima and Makueni County Commissioner, Maalim Mohammed among other national government and county officials.
By Patrick Nyakundi/Roselyne Kavoo