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County replaces asbestos roofs with iron sheets

HOME & AWAY
By Antony Gitonga | November 23rd 2020
Workers change asbestos roofing materials in County council in Naivasha in a project sponsored by Nakuru County government at a cost of Sh10m. The county says it will get rid of all the roofing materials by next year after they were identified as poisonous. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

Residents of the oldest and largest estate in Naivasha have a reason to smile after Nakuru County government moved in to replace the poisonous asbestos roofing materials on their houses.

Already 50 per cent of the houses in County Council estate have had the roofing material changed in the Sh10m project.

NEMA has already declared asbestos as poisonous and ordered the material mainly on government facilities to be replaced.

In Naivasha, over 10,000 families in the estate that houses middle income earners have started to benefit from the program that is expected to end next year.

According to Viwandani MCA Eric Gichuki, the process of changing the roofing materials had already kicked off with fifty percent of houses benefiting.

He said that plans were underway to complete the whole exercise by mid next year following the directive by NEMA.

“The county has already used Sh10m in the first phase of changing the asbestos roofing material and we are committed to fixing all the other houses,” he said.

Gichuki admitted that for years, the estate had been neglected by previous governments leading to leaking roofs and collapsed sewer systems.

On the sewer line, he said that the whole system in the estate had been upgraded after a health crisis and an outcry from area residents.

“We have used over Sh9m in upgrading the sewer system in the estate and the perennial problem of burst sewer-lines will now be a thing of the past,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Governor Lee Kinyanjui said that they were targeting all the public institutions that had been roofed with asbestos.

“Nearly all the government institutions in the county were roofed using asbestos and so far we have managed to replace most of them,” he said.

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He said that his government had set aside funds for the exercise, adding that it had been proven that the roofing material could cause cancer.

“Asbestos has been proven to be dangerous and we are working round the clock to replace them by next year from all the institutions and estates,” he said.

A resident of county council estate Martin Mugwe welcomed the move by the county government to change the roofing materials and to upgrade the archaic sewer system.

“For years we have suffered due to the sewer system that collapsed years ago but we are happy that this and the issue of the asbestos have been fully addressed,” he said.  

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