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Residents say traders adding margarine, water to milk

RIFT VALLEY
By WILBERFORCE NETYA and FRED KIBOR | June 2nd 2014

 

West Pokot, Kenya: Residents of Kapenguria in West Pokot County have raised an alarm over sale of adulterated milk and called on the authorities to curb the vice.

The residents said milk sellers in the area have been adding water and margarine to the commodity before selling it to unsuspecting buyers.

Lucy Cheptoo, a resident of Bendera, said she has been forced to dispose the commodity on several occasions after discovering that it had been adulterated.

“We want the dairy board to rein in on these deceitful traders who add water and margarine to the milk before selling it to unsuspecting clients. This is unethical,” she said.

MILK COOLERS

She said residents now have to part with Sh70 for a litre of milk which was going for Sh55 a week ago.

Last week, the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) held a regional stakeholders and regulation forum and advised the county government to institute measures to grow the sector.

KDB Regional Manager Pascal Shitekha asked the relevant county department to invest in the purchase of milk coolers and encourage dairy farmers to form cooperatives to assist them in marketing their produce.

Mr Shitekha observed that selling milk through cooperatives would help do away with hawkers who have not only been adulterating the product, but also selling it at exorbitant prices. He noted that the decline in milk supply to some parts of the county were due to spoilage of the product in the producing areas of Lelan, Tapach and other highland areas of Pokot South due to lack of coolants.

“Most milk here is sold to hawkers who adulterate or use plastic containers for storage and this is against the requirement that milk handlers use aluminum cans,” pointed out Shitekha during the meeting held in Kapenguria.

He further called on the county government to train farmers on animal husbandry as well as sensitise milk handlers and consumers on hygiene to avoid health risks associated with contamination of the product.

Residents in the area are now demanding swift action by the dairy board and other relevant departments to save them from exploitation by the milk hawkers and possible contamination of the commodity.

Meanwhile, former Higher Education Minister Margaret Kamar has said the newly inaugurated County Education Boards will not lead to plummeting of education standards at the regional level as some are fearing.

She said the work of the CEBs will be registration of schools and naming of school management boards, among other functions.

“Devolution has given Kenyans at the grassroots a chance to decide their affairs and access services easily and we should use that to our advantage,” said Kamar, who was speaking at Sambirir Girls in Marakwet East District.

Kamar, who is also Elgeyo Marakwet County Education Board chairperson, said the boards and the national education office should complement and and not compete with each other.

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