CLEAN

Kiboko oil spill precaution lifted as restoration nears end

Water Resources Authority has lifted the precautionary notice issued on the use of water from the springs around Kiboko area with immediate effect.

In Summary

•The authority issued a notice on May 10, warning residents against the use of the water resources in the area after the March 30, oil spillage from the new 450km Mombasa-Nairobi Pipeline.

•Lab tests by Bureau veritas(k) limited , University of Nairobi and Kenya Bureau of Standards all confirmed that the test for oil and grease was negative.

The precautionary notice on water resources around the Kiboko oil spill site has been lifted, a relief for Kenya Pipeline Company which is finalizing its restoration programme.

The Water Resources Authority (WRA) has finally given the surrounding waters a clean bill of health, ending a seven month caution on the use of the resources.

“Water Resources Authority has lifted the precautionary notice issued on the use of water from the springs around Kiboko area with immediate effect,” WRA says in a public notice dated November 14.

The authority issued a notice on May 10, warning residents against the use of the water resources in the area after the March 30, oil spillage from the new 450km Mombasa-Nairobi Pipeline.

“It is informed for public information that after analysis of the water samples from the affected springs the results so far indicate that the water recourses of Kiboko Springs of Kiboko River are free from oil and grease,” said Stephen Munyao, WRA sub regional manager-middle Athi sub region.

“However, the Kiboko residents are advised to use treated water and for those drawing directly from the springs and rivers to satisfactory disinfect or boil and observe hygiene throughout the water –usage chain especially in case of drinking purpose,” Munyao added.

WRA says it will however continue carrying out water quality and pollution monitoring with a close surveillance of Kiboko catchment area.

The surveillance will entail Kiboko springs water sampling, site observations, data and information analysis and “will advice the water users and stakeholders accordingly.”

The move is a relief for KPC which has spent hundreds of thousands in a water distribution programme since June 11.

The company has been distributing 78,000 litres of water per day to residents, where 23 watering points were being used. The company bought eight-10,000 litre tanks for the programme.

KPC management has been calling on WRA to suspend the notice so that people can access the water. The authority was to lift the notice on September 24, but failed despite a taskforce on the spill giving a green light.

“The result received from Bureau veritas(k) limited , University of Nairobi and Kenya Bureau of Standards have all confirmed that the test for oil and grease was negative,” the Kiboko Oil Spill Taskforce, chaired by Makueni County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim, has said.

Meanwhile, KPC engineers are in the final stages of implementing a seven-point action plan in environmental restoration of the site.

This includes the recovery of hydrocarbons at the site where it dug 14 rings and monitor wells (six of them), which help understand how deep products have gone.

The new Line 5, which leaked barely one year into operation, was constructed by Lebanese firm-Zakhem Construction. It became operational in July 2018.