Omuthiya dumpsite poses public health hazard

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Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya-Some resident of Omuthiya town who live in the proximity of the dumpsite have raised concern that it poses a health hazard to them, as toxic heavy smoke engulfs their houses when garbage has been set alight. This also leads to residents struggling to sleep at night. “We hardly sleep because of the smoke generated when they are burning the refuse and the whole house will be infiltrated by a stink of smoke. We really do not know what do” complained one community member living at Omadhiya, where the dumpsite is situated.

This came to light during a public meeting organised by the Omuthiya Town Council.
The town council has acknowledged the issue saying that the current situation came about as they now burn the waste on a daily basis as opposed to the initial once a week burning of refuse.

“We noticed that the burning was creating a lot of problems because of the smoke. But with the intervention from the Ombudsman we now collect waste and burn the same day in order to minimise the smoke” said the Omuthiya CEO, Samuel Mbango, when contacted on the matter.

He further informed the public that council is in the process of establishing another dumpsite on the western side of the town at Onanulo village, an area close to the earmarked large industrial area far away from the residential area.

“The challenge still remains because the area also has human inhabitants. We are however going to talk to them and negotiating for compensation so that we can relocate them. We chose this area because we also noticed that wind mostly blows in the westerly direction as it is situated at the edge of town,” explained Mbango.

In addition, Mbango said they could not establish a dumpsite on the Okashana area because it is in close proximity to the conservancy and it will be danger to the wildlife. He added that the area is also earmarked for tourism and hospitality facilities, therefore the dumpsite could not be placed there.

“Even if we were to decide to establish one, the ministry of environment would not issue us with a licence or an environmental clearance certificate,” said the CEO.

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