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Nairobi’s dirty water to blame for rising cholera

Robin Obino @PeopleDailyKe

Preliminary investigations into the cause of the frequent cholera outbreaks in Nairobi shows that 90 per cent of cases are as a result of contaminated food and water.

As an immediate measure to arrest the menace that is causing anxiety in the thirsty city, county chief health executive Dr Benard Muia has directed the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage company (NCWSC) to probe the source of water supplied to residents by vendors. The damning report on dirty water came to light following a probe by the county committee on Health.

Nairobi, one of the cleanest cities in Africa and once described as the City in the Sun but has now gained the notoriety of a ‘Metropolis in the Dumb’, has suffered increasing cases of cholera — a fatal disease that is caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water in poor sanitation places — especially in the mushrooming informal informal settlements.

Speaking yesterday during the launch of the county health strategic framework documents, Muia said the sources of some of the water being peddled in the city is suspect.

“Ndakaini dam which provides the bulk of Nairobi water has only 55 per cent of its normal levels at the moment. This cannot sustain supply of enough water to the city residents. We can’t clearly tell the source of some of the water used in the county,” he said.

Muia also reiterated the county’s commitment in partnering with other stakeholders in improving the city’s healthcare systems. “This is the only county with more than 50 per cent partners in the health sector.

With the support from Usaid/Kenya and East Africa and Afya Jijini Programme, the objective to make the city the safest in the region will be attained,” said Muia.

On the ongoing nurses’ strike, the county executive confirmed that some of workers had not been paid, citing a cash problem. He, however, said he is ready and willing to hold negotiations with their unions for a way forward.

“I urge the nurses to resume duty and wedge their war from within. This is a noble calling and you can not purport to be agitating for your dues at the expense of the lives of the public,” he said.

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