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Residents panic after river water turns blue

RIFT VALLEY
By JOB WERU | November 8th 2013

By JOB WERU

Laikipia County: Panic gripped Nanyuki town residents and downstream users of River Nanyuki after chemical substances were deposited in the river, turning the water blue.

The Wednesday evening incidence caused worry in Nanyuki town and the neighbouring Likii where people rely on the river.

Mr Simion Tonui, the Laikipia county National Environment Management Authority (Nema) officer said the chemicals were disposed of near a bridge that connects the town to the Nanyuki Army Barracks.

“We received reports from the public that Nanyuki river water had turned blue. We traced the source to the bridge where we found some powder chemicals in a polythene bag and a jerrican,” said Tonui.

But Tonui dispelled fears that piped water distributed by Nanyuki Water and Sanitation Company (Nawasco) was also affected.

 “We are getting erroneous reports that the town’s water supply has also been contaminated. We want to assure the public that the water is safe, but urge them to report anything unusual,” he said.

Chemical samples

He added that Nema and Ewaso Ng’iro North Water Resources Management Authority (ENNWRMA) officials said the chemicals were not permanent. “The water cleared after some time. We have already taken some samples of the chemicals to the Government chemist for analysis, so that we can identify the substances,” he said.

Mr David Ochillo, the ENNWRMA manager said his office was yet to receive an analysis report from the laboratory.

The officials further ordered owners of residential houses adjacent to the river to clear heaps of garbage that have gathered near the river.

Ochillo noted that his office has dispatched officials to enforce pollution control.

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