Nairobians could be eating marabou stork without their knowledge, The Nairobian can now reveal.
The birds, also known as the ‘undertakers’, scavenge in their thousands at the Dandora dumpsite from where they’re sourced cheaply by crooked hotel operators.
Though unfit for human consumption, the ‘undertakers’ are slaughtered in nearby slums and delivered to various city hotels.
And while slum dwellers around the dumpsite feast on the marabou stork knowing too well, the rest of the city could be feeding unsuspectingly on birds they mostly see from their vehicle windows.
“The marabou’s meat is cheaper and many who consume it are the regulars at chang’aa dens and mutura places. Regular customers love it,” said a local who operates at the dumpsite.
The Nairobian found out that the roasted and fried pieces of the meat goes for as little as Sh10 but those who can afford a full bird pay about Sh300.
The hunter kills it at the dumpsite and it is then prepared in some dingy hotels in Korogocho and surrounding slums.
The meat is packed and secretly supplied to other food dealers using motorcycles.
City Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kepha Ombacho said they have not received information on the trade but warns that marabous stork meat is a health hazard.
“Marabou stork is not fit for human consumption. The meat is contaminated and the business is illegal. We need information on such traders so that we can arrest them,” said Dr Ombacho.
Dr Peter Njoroge, the head of Ornithology, National Museums of Kenya warned that feasting on the marabou storks is illegal and dangerous.
“The birds scavenge on all manner of waste and in the dumpsite they are exposed to all kinds of pollutants. They may have serious diseases that may be transmitted to humans,” Njoroge cautioned.
He said killing of marabou storks which are non-domesticated animals amounts to poaching and such persons “can be arrested by Kenya Wildlife Service or other law enforcers and be charged according to the Wildlife Act”.