Residents of Nkunga, in Buuri constituency, have urged the Meru county government to relocate the dump site which has become an health hazard to locals.
The residents expressed fears that as the March to April long rains approach, there is a high risk of an outbreak of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and other water borne diseases.
Jane Nkoroi , a resident of Nkunga said that the foul smell that emanates from the garbage disposed of in the area makes life unbearable for them.
Nkoroi noted that huge piles of garbage lay in the area hence making it a fertile breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes hence exposing the residents to diseases like malaria and diarrhea.
She pointed out that many households draw water from Nkunga lake which has not been spared from pollution by effluent emanating from the dumpsite.
“Our livestock browse at this dump site; they feed on polythene bags eventually suffocating to death,” she said, adding that many households have incurred huge losses.
She noted that many households often suffer from water borne diseases and incur expenses in treatment and acquiring of drugs which is expensive for many families.
John Kiruja noted that the value of land in the region has depreciated sharply, a factor he attributed to the foul smell coming from the dump site.
“Our neighbours at Kiirua sell their parcels of land at high prices compared to people who live along the dump site as many buyers do not want to settle in an area that puts them at the risk of contracting diseases.
He noted that Nkunga lake which used to be a tourist attraction site has been greatly polluted by the garbage coming from the dumpsite and added only a few people come for picnics nowadays.
The County Executive in charge of Environment, Caroline Mutiga urged the residents to be patient pointing out that the county is carrying out fumigation on the dumpsite.
“You can see that after fumigation exercise the stench and flies that used to be there is no more,” she said, adding that initially the office had put up a fence around the dumping site but the same was pulled down due to roads construction in the area but she however, assured it will be fenced once more.
She observed that her office is working closely with the lands office to ensure that the county acquires land for relocation of the dumpsite.
Mutiga said her office has employed permanent workers at the dumpsite to ensure that the garbage is properly managed hence averting diseases.
She said that plans are underway to rehabilitate Nkunga lake to make it attractive to visitors once more which will serve as income generating project for the locals.
By Muguongo Judy