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Act tough on pollution

By The Standard | Published Thu, February 23rd 2017 at 00:00, Updated February 22nd 2017 at 20:30 GMT +3

Kenya’s approach to the disposal of harmful chemicals is lackadaisical. This has led to environmental pollution. As a consequence, human and marine lives are in danger. The upsurge in cancer cases can in part be attributed to such pollution. Industrial effluence from haphazardly situated factories is directed to streams for lack of proper disposal measures.

In 2015, following a Kenya Television Networks (KTN) expose of a lead poisoning scandal, the Government swung into action and forced the closure of a lead factory in Changamwe, Mombasa.

More than 5,000 residents of Owino Uhuru informal settlement in Mikindani had suffered adverse health effects from lead poisoning. Since then, there has been no follow-up action.

In the lake basin region, there are fears an Eldoret-based lead factory is discharging lead into Sosian River and sadly, this ends up in Lake Victoria.

The use of pesticides on large farms around the lake contributes to environmental pollution through contamination of rivers that flow into Lake Victoria.

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Already, the water hyacinth has choked marine life on Lake Victoria. Adding chemicals to this will lead to the extinction of fish species, the source of livelihood for many in the region. The importance of stopping such pollution and ensuring proper waste disposal cannot be overemphasised.

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