MURANG'A COUNTY: Lack of planning has been blamed for the poor sanitation and contaminated water at the busy Kenol market.
Residents have expressed fear of contracting water-borne diseases after the cholera outbreak at the nearby Kabati market that has claimed two people with scores under medication.
On Wednesday, the public health department conducted an awareness campaign on the safety measures to be taken to avert a health crisis.
Health Secretary Muthoni Maganda issued a diarrhea alert in all parts of the county.
Thursday, Market Chairman David Mwaura said many of the pit latrines have been flooded with raw waste mixing freely with rain water.
Residents are in fear after the Government established a treatment centre at Nguthuru dispensary near Kabati market following confirmation that the death of the two people was due to the cholera outbreak.
Mr Mwaura said many of the residents are at risk of contaminating waterborne diseases as they use water sourced from shallow bore holes majority of which are unprotected.
Speaking to The Standard, Mwaura challenged Murang'a County government to fast track distribution of piped water to all the rental facilities to save the locals from continued use of unprotected sources.
A spot check revealed water supplied by Murang'a South Water Company was inadequate leaving most of the locals at the mercy of the bore holes.
"The governor is duty-bound to ensure the public accesses clean water and take measures to test waters in the bore holes to ensure safety of the residents," said the market official.
A visit to the market revealed overflowing raw sewage through the unkempt and bushy drainage.
Young children were found playing around the areas flooded with polluted waters while some hotels and butcheries remained opened despite orders to have them closed as a measure to contain the disease.
Maragua Sub-county Administrator Benson Njehia said public health officers are on the ground educating the residents on hygiene.
The administrator said most of the eateries, especially those selling soup and 'mitura', have been closed to avert the spread of cholera.
Mr Njehia advised residents to seek medical treatment in case they experience any complication.
"We have engaged casuals to work on the drainage system as the public health officers order traders to ensure hygiene of their premises and the surroundings," Njehia said.