Hola, Saturday April 21, 2018 KNA by Emmanuel Masha
Traders in Hola Town of Tana River County have decried the deteriorating hygienic standards within the town. They lamented that the town had become too filthy especially during the current rains that have resulted in water mixing with raw sewage from residential houses, forming a mucky sludge and emitting foul smell.
The traders accused the Tana River County Government of neglecting their responsibility of collecting and disposing garbage and asked the administration to move in and clean the town to prevent a disease outbreak.
“The County Government should procure garbage trucks and identify a proper dumping ground to keep the town clean,” said Ms Habiba Abdulahi, a green grocer within the town.
She complained that although the traders were doing their best to put garbage in trash bins, county government officials do not collect the same.
“We usually keep the garbage in bags and bins for the county government staff can come and collect, but it is a pity the garbage remains in our bins until it rots,” she said.
Ironically, the traders are not out of blame as a Kenya News Agency survey revealed that raw sewage was oozing from some business premises such as bars and restaurants within the town’s central business district.
The survey also found that solid waste was also rampant in front of shops and kiosks as shopkeepers and shoppers disposed of garbage haphazardly, despite the existence of a few trash bins in the town.
County Health Executive Mwanajuma Mabuke said as much as the county government was responsible for garbage collection and the general sanitation of the town, residents should also ensure that they stay in a clean environment.
“It is the responsibility of all residents to ensure that they take care of their solid and liquid waste matter,” Mrs. Mabuke, who is also acting CEC member for Water and Environment told reporters in her office Thursday.
Mrs. Mabuke, who is also the acting CEC member for Water and Environment, said the county government was in the process of formulating an environment policy that when enforced would ensure all urban centres in the county are kept clean.
The policy, she said, would criminalize haphazard dumping of garbage in the urban centres and penalize offenders.
She said the county government was also contemplating engaging youth groups and community based organizations (CBOs) to collect garbage instead of contracting garbage collection companies that had already failed.
“Instead of contracting garbage collection companies, we intend to organize our youths into groups and contract them for the job with a view to making our urban centres clean,” she said.
Currently, a company associated with one Member of the County Assembly, has been contracted to collect garbage in Hola town.