Machakos governor-elect Wavinya Ndeti and her deputy-elect Francis Mwangangi have promised to ensure clean and reliable water supply for residents.
Ndeti noted that for years, residents have been relying on water from River Athi, which is contaminated, and harmful to their health.
She urged residents to shun consuming water from the River Athi, adding that a clean-up exercise in collaboration with the national government process is underway.
“We have already initiated talks with the national government and the governments of Kiambu, Nairobi and Kajiado, which are jointly responsible for discharging emissions into the river with an aim of reversing the trend and cleaning up the water resource,” she said.
Mwangagi advised residents to source domestic water from other seasonal rivers and boreholes as they work on a plan to stop further upstream pollution of the river.
“ We are concerned about the pollution of River Athi, which is risking the lives of our people. But the good news is that the matter tops our priority list as soon as we take the oath of office,” he said.
Some environmental scientists have warned the river is laced with dangerous toxins, revealing that heavy metals from factories are discharged directly into the river.
Mwangangi assured residents that his administration will endeavour to address pollution with neighbouring counties besides seeking to seek partnership with the national government to rehabilitate the river.
“When I was the MP for Yatta between 2013 and 2017, I led a parliamentary committee on the environment which recommended for an immediate budget allocation for the cleanup of the river, but eight years down the line, that has not been implemented,” he said.
Mwangangi claimed farmers’ groups undertaking horticultural production along the river have been blacklisted in the European market, which had been the destination for their farm produce.