Unimproved sanitation and open defecation have been linked to numerous waterborne diseases, and yet Nakuru town has only 26 per cent sewerage coverage against a population of over 1.6 million.
However, County Public Health Officer Samwel King’ori said despite the low sewerage coverage the town was ranked number two out of the 47 counties.
He was speaking Wednesday during an interview with KNA at his office.
King’ori acknowledged that urban areas without proper sewerage systems were breeding grounds for diseases such as typhoid, cholera and numerous skin diseases.
According to 2019’s County Sanitation Report, Nakuru Town loses sh978 million each year due to poor sanitation.
Such conditions, King’ori observed, further results in premature death, health care and loss of productivity.
Harun Kerama a nurse at Nakuru West Dispensary said 80 per cent of the diseases they see on a daily basis were related to water-borne diseases as the number of water pipes which were laid by the colonialists had rusted causing increased leakage and clean water mixing with faecal matters.
King’ori blamed the hilly terrain of Nakuru town for the diseases saying it contributes to the elevated speed of the storm water.
The estates which are below the high areas such as Kivumbini, Kaptebwa and Kwa Rhoda dread the rain season because more often than not their houses get flooded.
However, King’ori, said they had formed an inclusive committee of Engineers, Physical Planners and public health officers to assist in solving the storm water and expand the sewerage system due to the increased population.
He said in the past, much emphasis was placed on the supply of clean water at the expense of sewerage treatment but the counties have now realised that if sewerage treatment was not appropriate, water-related diseases were likely to spread to human beings.
Although a number of residents were not aware of the relationship between inappropriate sewerage coverage and their health, many of them claim to be suffering from typhoid, and they have a tendency of buying the drugs without prescriptions from health officials.
By Veronica Bosibori