The national assembly committee on public petitions has recommended suspension of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Director General Mamo Boru Mamo over failure to address River Athi pollution.
The committee led by Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai made the conclusion after visiting the polluted river downstream at Mwala, in public hearing exercise following a petition by residents through area legislator Vincent Musyoka.
“We have seen the situation upstream from the polluters and now downstream to the consumers and our first recommendation as committee is that director general of NEMA has to be suspended immediately and his duties assigned to someone else with a capability of enforcing cleaning of the river so that our people stop dying of cancer everyday” said Mbai.
Mbai observed that continuous pollution of the river will make the multi Billion Thwake Dam project meaningless. “Thwake Dam will become another dumpsite.”
The petitioner said that a comprehensive data collection to confirm the number of cancer related deaths was long overdue. Musyoka reaffirmed that after the research the locals will attach the blame to the pollutant’s ‘demand’ financial compensation for loss of lives.
The committee revealed that it had conducted chemical analysis of River Athi waters and revealed shocking results of contaminations with dangerous carcinogenic elements.
“We have seen water that looks like that of a sewage, and this is what people rely on for domestic use. The Government must move swiftly to contain industrial pollution by factories upstream to save our people,” said Edith Nyenze, MP Kitui West.