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School in Nakuru now closed for disposing waste on farm

By Anne Wagema | August 30th 2016
Nakuru county workers inspecting medical waste disposed a at Gioto dumpsite

KENYA: The Nakuru Public Health department has shut down a private school for allegedly discharging raw waste onto neighbouring farms.

In a letter seen by The Standard, Nakuru County Public Health Officer Samuel King'ori ordered the closure of the girls' academy in Wanyororo after it was accused of depositing raw waste on the farms on Monday night.

"We got information from residents and our preliminary investigations point to the school draining the waste onto nearby farms," said Mr King'ori.

King'ori said the school, which has about 200 students, will be closed as they search for the school administrator who has gone into hiding.

"They are supposed to open today (Tuesday) but the school will remain closed until they comply with the notice given to them stating that they must disinfect the contaminated fields," he said.

King'ori said no student would be allowed into the school until all the waste was removed and disposed of to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Health.

"All the filled-up latrines should also be demolished as recommended in the notice and all other works for maintenance of cleanliness done," he said.

Judy Wairimu, a resident, said at around 7.30pm last Monday, she heard the whirring sound of an exhauster in the school pumping out waste.

Ms Wairimu said when she went outside, she was shocked to see several pipes from the school's latrines releasing waste on her farm.

She immediately called the area chief but the school managers had the pipes removed when residents started turning up.

Grace Mukuhi, another resident, said the waste flowed into her house.

"The school has a tendency of releasing waste onto our farms. They usually pump it out at night and cover it with fresh water in the morning to conceal the evidence," she said, adding that the area was polluted with human waste and posed a health hazard.

King'ori said five other schools in the region were being investigated for disposing of human waste in undesignated areas. He said residents and students of the various schools were at risk of contracting cholera and other diseases.

"We have reports of five other schools in the area that have been doing the same and we are investigating before we close them as well," he said.

The schools will be charged with discharging faecal matter into an open area and having filled up collapsed latrines in a school.

"Any school found disposing of its waste haphazardly shall be closed down with immediate effect and action taken against them," he warned.

King'ori said the county public health department would conduct impromptu checks in schools and institutions to inspect toilets/latrines.

"All institutions should ensure that students' bathrooms are up to standard at all times to prevent the spread of disease," he said.

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