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Mandera Lifts Ban on wells closure

Mandera department of water services has re-opened all its 13 wells seven days after they were shut down over poor hygiene.


The wells were closed last week after the water department in the area raised a red flag on possible water borne diseases outbreak.


Public health officials in the County shut down the wells supplying water in the semi-arid Mandera East Sub-county, saying consumers were being given dirty drinking water.


The officials cited high health risks due to contamination from surface run off following heavy rainfall that had pounded the region over the past one month.


Mandera East Public Health Officer, Hussein Yussuf said water consumers in the area were at a high risk of contracting water borne diseases.


He said the department was wary of a repeat of 2016 where a cholera outbreak claimed 20 lives.

In April 2016 some 894 cases of cholera were reported in Mandera East Sub-County alone with the disease claiming over 20 lives.


Yussuf said Well-owners were not putting up water treatment tanks and were giving it to consumers untreated.


He said the department had adequate chlorine and it was just negligence from the water vendors that the commodity was not being treated before being sold to consumers.


The lift on the ban on wells closure comes simultaneously with the re-opening of a dam in Banisa area after having been closed over pollution.


Residents detected a change of colour in the water, which the County government confirmed was water contamination.


The water department has been treating the water in the dam to clean it and ensure it is safe for human consumption.


The department has assured residents that it was in control and has enough chlorine to treat the water.


However, Yusuf has warned water vendors in the area not to give residents dirty water or risk being banned completely from the business.


By Dickson Githaiga


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