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Piles of garbage spark fear of disease outbreak in Nyeri

By Job Weru | January 6th 2016

Residents of Nyeri suburbs are at the risk of contracting diseases due to failure by the county government to collect garbage in various parts of the town.

A spot check by The Standard yesterday indicated the county government has not collected waste from designated garbage collection sites within Ngangarithi, Ruring'u, Skuta Majengo, Kamakwa and King'ong'o, among other estates.

Most of the garbage collection points are adjacent to eateries, especially in Majengo, Ngangarithi, Kamakwa and King'ong'o.

A foul stench wafts from the garbage heaps and birds, goats, sheep and donkeys compete for left-over food in the heaps.

Mr James Maina, a boda boda operator at Ngangarithi lamented that the nearby collection site is full to the brim. "It is also sad the garbage site is located about 50m to a stream and also the same distance to residential houses, eateries and shops," said Maina.

The foul stench from the heaps of garbage spread out on a 20-metre radius could be felt about 300 metres.

"We have been complaining since early December after we realised they were not collecting the garbage, but it has all been in vain. We do not have any other solution other than to reach Governor Nderitu Gachagua through the media, since his staff have abdicated their duty," said Jimmy Gitonga, a resident of Ngangarithi.

Ms Nancy Wairimu, a trader at Ruring'u-Stadium estate said the county government still charges them money for garbage collection.

"We have been paying Sh150 every month on top of water bills for garbage collection, but the last time they came to collect the garbage was last year in November.

County Deputy Director of Environmental, Health and Sanitation Services John Mugenyo said the department has a shortage of  vehicles.

"I don't want to confirm the last day the garbage were collected, but we acknowledge we have a serious shortage of garbage collection vehicles.

The lorries we have been using are very old and they are in and out of garages every time, but as a short-term intervention, we have been hiring public works vehicles," he said.

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