Nema faults hospitals waste management systems

National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has raised a red flag over none performing incinerators at two major hospitals in Murang’a.

The facilities used in the destruction of bio-medical waste are said not to be operational leaving waste unattended.

In a report by the authority, the machine at Maragua District hospital was found in good working condition but lacks diesel to operate.

The agency has decried poor state of the incinerators over impassable access roads to the facilities in the report dated October 31 and November 1.

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The facilities also lack ash pits with management directed to be carrying out annual audits on them to improve environmental sustainability.

The report also indicated that the operators lack protective gear exposing them to toxic waste.

At Murang’a Level Five Hospital, the capacity of the incinerator is low despite high production of waste at the facility.

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Nema County Director Jackson Muturo recommends drastic measures to ensure effective management of the waste.

He feared that some waste could have sipped to Mathioya River during the rainy season and affected residents in lower parts of Murang'a. He has recommended fencing of the incinerators for safety.

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Muturo demanded the hospitals comply with waste management regulation of 2006.

“The management of the hospitals should take extra caution to ensure the incinerators are in good working condition at all times,” said Muturo, adding that they should maintain a register of biomedical waste in the facilities.

Murang’a County Health and Sanitation Chief officer Dr James Gitau downplayed the reports saying the inclinators were in good working condition.

 He said the supply of diesel is weekly, to ensure there is environmental friendly destruction of waste.

“At Murang’a District hospital, the facility has been fenced off. I supervise the operators when they are operating the machine to ensure efficiency,” said Gitau.

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He disclosed that initially there was theft of diesel until he started supervising the delivery of 50 litres per week.

"There were claims of theft when diesel supply was monthly but the situation is now under control," said Gitau.

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