Kitui Water and Sanitation Company (KITWASCO) Managing Director Geoffrey Kiita was on Wednesday arrested by NEMA enforcement officers for abetting toxic effluent discharge into Kalundu River.
Confirming the incident, NEMA Lower Eastern Director John Wafula said the raw effluent discharge into the river was harmful to the aquatic ecosystem, livestock and residents dependent on the river for domestic use.
Wafula lamented that KITWASCO had entered into agreement with various institutions including Jordan Hospital to connect their raw waste into the company’s sewer line system that was inadequate to manage the effluent discharge.
“We find KITWASCO liable for environmental pollution in this area and thus the MD has to pay the ultimate price for gross mismanagement of the company’s sewer line at the expense of environmental conservation,’ said the NEMA Director.
Wafula observed that the effluent discharge had polluted Kalundu River and the surrounding ecosystem leading to a foul smell that is hazardous to the residents’ health.
“Part of the toxic discharge is emanating from Jordan Hospital, which houses both the hospital and morgue. The hospital entered an agreement that was not honoured by KITWASCO,” he said.
Wafula called on the hospital to install an incinerator to cater for the specialised requirements during the internal waste management process that can also be used as a viable bio-secure alternative to hospital waste disposal system.
‘We found out that the hospital also operates an unlicensed incinerator. We have ordered the hospital to procure and commission a proper and NEMA licenced incinerator and also treat their waste within the hospital facility,” he said.
Wafula warned that if Jordan Hospital does not meet NEMA regulations to treat its waste water and put up an incinerator within two weeks, it shall be shut down and ground its operations until such a time it meets environmental standards.
By Yobesh Onwong’a