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Kitengela town. File Photo.

NEMA to condemn buildings and ask tenants to vacate after crackdown in Kitengela

By Abdi Hussein 

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) might be forced to condemn some of buildings after an audit revealed that many were discharging effluent onto the road in Kitengela’s New Valley Estate.

And Nema has threatened to take legal action against some land lords who failed to honour summons when they were ordered to appear at their offices and went into hiding to evade arrest.

Kitengela land lords have decried stringent measures enforced by the environment watchdog to stop the discharge of raw sewage, recently holding peaceful demonstrations and barricading Balozi road, which has a damaged sewerage line.

For more than two years, the middle class dwellers of New Valley Estate have been enveloped by awful odour with raw sewer flowing freely on the road.

Many residents have expressed fear of disease outbreak resulting from raw sewer discharged by selfish land lords a concern shared by the Ministry of Health which raised a red flag of a cholera outbreak risk in Kajiado County.

The discharge flows freely from high end rental buildings to nearby seasonal river to the chagrin of locals who have to endure the menace.  One of the houses belongs to a senior government officer who previously served as a governor.

Tenants claim regional NEMA officers and Public health officer have been compromised by land lords.

’’We fear cholera out-break but although area Nema and public health officers have been aware, they have been compromised,”Mzee Joseph Githaiga, New valley resident.

Owing to the fact that Kitengela town do not have a sewer line, selfish landlord discharge the raw sewer to roads to cut the exhaust-er exorbitant charges.

Sewage exhaust truck owners charge between Sh17,000 to 20,000 to siphon sewage from a three storey flat, meaning a land lord has to pay over Sh30,000 to clear the toxic fluids twice a month although the charges  may triple during rainy season.

A care taker who spoke in condition of anonymity said he directs the sewer on to the road at night under his landlord directives to cut cost.

‘’I usually follow my boss instructions to discharge the raw sewer to the road especially during rainy season. I know it is dangerous but I need my job,’’ he said.

An NEMA Agitated Nema director General Mamo Boru  Mamo who personally visited the area recently to assess the  situation  said the situation was dire and a there was a clear indication of high impunity by building owners flouting regulations and risking lives.

Mr Mamo summoned all guilty land lords and ordered an audit of all buildings and promised residents of decisive action to stop the menace

‘’I have ordered audit of all buildings in this estate for a decisive action because the situation is pathetic. We will summon all the accused landlords to our offices for further directions. This is impunity of highest order,’’ said Mr Mamo.

He assured residents that the land lords will be taken to court and made to adhere to NEMA regulations and also warned that regional NEMA officials who will be found to have ignored the residents cry will be punished. T

Among the measures to be taken will include closing high-rise flats and asking tenants to vacate them.

‘’I have also directed an investigation on regional NEMA officials accused for neglecting residents cry. Those who will be found culpable will be punished forthwith,’’ he said.

A report compiled by NEMA who carried out the audit has not been released but an officer who is privy to it said some of the buildings will be condemned and tenants required to vacate while the landlords might be fined or arraigned  in court.

“We are waiting with unabated breath to see if NEMA has teeth to bite,” said resident Jackquiline Make.  A spot check  in various estates  in Kitengela township indicate most high-rise buildings  lack proper sewer management ending up discharging their sewer to the roads

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