Which way for KPC on Kiboko oil spill?

Water Resources Authority (WRA) is yet to lift a precautionary notice on the safety of the water at Kiboko Springs and its environs in Makueni County.

This is despite tests by the authority as well as other institutions finding no traces of oil.

The authority had in May this year issued the notice, warning residents of Kiboko to find alternative water sources as the area may have been contaminated following a leak on the Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline in March.

It had initially found oil in samples taken from the site following the March spill and declared it not-fit for human and animal consumption. It has, however, in the subsequent tests found that the water is not contaminated. At September 20 meeting of the task force formed to look into the oil spill, WRA reported that samples taken in the course of August and September did not contain oil and grease.

SEE ALSO : Thange River oil spill victims sue KPC over compensation

It had further said it would on September 24 lift a precautionary notice issued when the spill happened in March, warning area residents to find alternative sources as it looked into whether the water at Kiboko Springs and the environs were safe.

Exit strategy

“The final result received from Bureau Veritas Limited, University of Nairobi and Kenya Bureau of Standards have all confirmed that the test for oil and grease was negative,” reads in part the Minute of the meeting signed by the task force chairman Mohammed Maalim Makueni County Commissioner and the Secretary Abdishakur Abdisalan.

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With the notice still in place, KPC will have to continue providing residents with clean water. Even when the notice is lifted, the pipeline operation will continue being on-site to complete a clean-up of areas affected by the spill.

“There has to be an exit strategy, KPC cannot just leave the site,” said Maalim in an interview, but declined to discuss the details of the report that has been prepared on the spill.

SEE ALSO :MPs seek an end to KPC woes

Kiboko residents are going to court seeking compensation for the damage caused by the spill. Through the Kiboko Water Resource Users Association, the residents have filed a suit in court where KPC, WRA, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority and the Nation Environmental Management Authority (Nema) are named as respondents.

During the September 20 meeting, the committee took note of the withdrawal of the association from the taskforce and instead decided to pursue the matter in court.

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