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Mt Longonot National Park closed over lack of water

By Antony Gitonga | July 28th 2016
A visitor on a hiking mission to Mt Longonot National Park in Naivasha which has since been closed down by the department on public health grounds. (PHOTO: ANTONY GITONGA/ STANDARD)

The famous Mt Longonot National Park in Naivasha has been closed over poor sanitation.

Public health officials said guests should not visit the park, off the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road, due to an acute shortage of water.

Visitors have been forced to relieve themselves in the bush over the last few weeks after human waste clogged toilets.

The problem has partly been blamed on failure by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to pay suppliers, plunging the park that has been attracting visitors from all over the world into a major crisis. 

Mai Mahiu Public health officer George Mwangi, in a notice, said the park should stop receiving visitors until issues of water and sanitation are addressed.

Provide sanitation

"The department has noticed you are causing a nuisance by failing to provide sanitation to the satisfaction of the public health act," reads the notice in part.

KWS has failed to provide water for public toilets while the only pit latrine in the park is currently filled up, the notice said.

"You are required, with immediate effect, to provide water in the toilets, keep them clean and cease from using the already filled up latrine," the notice adds.

The management of the park will be sued if it fails to adhere to the notice. A worker at the park said toilets were closed down three weeks ago after KWS failed  to pay their water supplier.

"This is very shameful especially because the park makes a lot of money each day. The blame lies squarely with KWS headquarters who are very eager to receive collection from the park but fail to pay suppliers," said the worker who declined to be named.

KWS spokesman Paul Gathitu said he will issue a statement after consultations.

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