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State to take action against dumping solid wastes in rivers

The government has issued a stern warning against dumping solid wastes into rivers Awash in Rachuonyo north sub-county environment Officer Dawnschearis Akinyi has said.

The officer said according to the environmental laws it is a violation of the environment, serious injustice, and an offense punishable by law that they cannot condone.

“Because this is a river, a source of water that many people rely on, people use the water to bathe, to wash utensils, wash their clothes, and their livestock comes here to drink the water, dumping effluent or untreated wastes, solid wastes or any other waste poses health challenges to the community at large,” she said.

She said the river water must be protected from this kind of activities to protect residents who use the water from diseases

The officer was speaking at Gendia Bridge after residents woke up to a pungent smell from a heap of decomposed solid wastes that were dumped on a road drainage system close to the river so that after the rains it is swept to the river by running water

The environment officer said they encourage people to take care of their waste under the slogan ‘my waste, my responsibility’, and what is required for every person is to know how best they can manage their waste at the source without degrading the environment

The officer however admitted that currently there is no dumping site in Kendubay and Trucks usually transport the solid waste to a dumping site in Homabay town  

“But the county government is in the process of creating one at Kendu Bay,” the officer said

She said the site has been identified and the budget set aside, they are now looking for surveyors saying they have taken the right step toward solid waste management issues

George Otieno Olao and Nuhu Omollo environment activists and members of the Plant Trees for Better Life CBO in Homabay with a tree nursery close to the bridge raised alarm over the solid waste disposed to the river and together with residents helped retrieve it from the drainage system

“We call upon the national police service, the local administration officials, and the county government to work together so that this person who did this heinous act is brought to book,” Nuhu Omollo said

He said the vehicle is well known and the details have been given to the relevant security organs for action

They called on the residents living along river Awach especially near the Gendia Bridge to be vigilant and report any case of individual dumping waste into the river which they said is a danger to their lives and the marine life at the lake

Nuhu said early this year people dumped a truckload of broken glasses and vehicle windscreens that appeared as waste from car garages

He said the matter was reported to the county government which acted swiftly and with the help of residents removed the glasses before they were swept to the lake but the culprit though traced to a certain well-known garage has not been brought to justice

Tuesday the sub-county environment officer promised they are going to follow up on the matter to the end  

“And we are going to act on the said vehicle that was seen with these wastes, we already have the numbers.” The officer said

She said the government is not taking the matter lightly as they are going to do a follow-up of the pickup that was seen at around 7.30 to around 8.00 pm Monday dumping the waste there to ensure the law of justice for the environment takes its course.

By Moseti Julius

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