A committee has been formed to address the oil spillage at Kiboko in Makindu Sub-county, Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr. Simon Chelugui has said.
Among the members of the committee include county government, NEMA, Water Resources Management Authority, Kenya Pipe Line Corporation (KPC) and Ministries of Water and Petroleum.
Mr. Chelugui said that the committee will consult and come up with a matrix way forward on how emerging issues brought about by the oil spillage will be dealt with.
The cabinet secretary made the remarks on Friday at the chief’s office in Kiboko where he met other stakeholders and wananchi who were eager to see the problem resolved.
On alternative sources of water, he said that the issue should be discussed quickly so that the residents can get clean and reliable water since the water sources in the area have been contaminated with the oil.
“We want this committee to come up with issues brought about by oil spillage and suggest the best way to deal with them. Alternative water sources is an issue to be discussed and dealt with,” said Chelugui.
At the same time, he said that a joint monitoring and evaluation will be carried out and the sources of water will be tested to establish the extent of the contamination by the oil spill in the area.
“The different stakeholders will be testing the water and compare the notes for the good of the affected residents,” said the cabinet secretary.
However, Chelugui apologized to the residents of Kiboko saying that the government will deal with the problem.
On community social responsibility, Chelugui urged KPC to improve their relations with the community by funding a health facility and equip it especially to benefit the people who are affected by the oil spillage.
Speaking during the same function, Makueni County Governor Kivutha Kibwana, said the spillage should be declared a national disaster while noting that it has impacted negatively on the economy of the county.
Governor Kibwana further said that KPC should provide a short time solution for especially clean water for the residents to drink as their sources of water are contaminated hence unfit for human consumption.
“This thing is serious and it should be declared a national disaster,” said the governor.
He observed that the water his government was trucking for the residents and schools in Kiboko affected by the oil spillage, should be compensated by KPC.
On his part, the chairman Water Resources Management Authority Engineer Joe Mutambu said that the pipe line should be closed until the problem is solved.
Concerning Thange, he called upon the national government to construct a dam that they promised at Thange following an oil spillage that occurred there in 2015.
It should be observed here that the Kiboko oil spillage is the second one to occur in Makueni County after the one in Thange in 2015. Environmental cleaning is ongoing at Thange.