Machakos Governor, Wavinya Ndeti has urged the National Government to speed up the clean up of River Athi whose water has been declared unfit for human consumption due to heavy pollution.
Speaking during a Sunday Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Mwala Sub-County, Wavinya said consumption and use of the contaminated water was responsible for the surge of cancer cases in Mwala Sub-County.
“Many residents of Mwala have been diagnosed with cancer as a result of this river. I expect that the commission we jointly established in collaboration with the National Government expedites the clean up in order to reverse the trend,” said Wavinya.
River Athi, which cuts through Mavoko, Matungulu, Mwala and Yatta constituencies within Machakos County has been declared a national hazard due to rampant pollution, mainly emanating from industrial waste.
She said her Government had established a cancer testing and treatment centre at Machakos level 5 Hospital to manage cases from across the region.
“Here in Machakos we have been handling cases in our cancer care centre and curiously, many cases are from this (Mwala) area,” she said.
She went on, “Cancer can be treated if detected early. Once you sense anything unusual, rush for testing and get treated early,” she said.
She challenged residents to take advantage of the ongoing rains to harvest water for subsistence farming.
“We’re encouraging our people to go organic in their farming in order to produce healthy food,” she said.
She was joined by her Bungoma counterpart, Ken Lusaka, Machakos Town MP, Caleb Mule and the chairperson of Nairobi City County Public Service Board, Thomas Kasoa among other dignitaries.