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January 21, 2019

Nanyuki Boys school tears off cancer-causing asbestos roof

Nema warned the roofing material poses cancer risks /FILE
Nema warned the roofing material poses cancer risks /FILE

Nanyuki Boys High School has started removing cancer-causing asbestos from the roofs of classrooms.

The National Environmental Management Authority ordered the removal, saying asbestos poses serious risks of cancer.

School’s Board of Management chairman Robert Mungai yesterday said they will replace the roofing according to Nema guidelines.

“We have engaged the authority so that we are advised on how best to handle the roofing without causing any harm,” Mungai said.

Nema said asbestos is a carcinogen but it has been used for years for insulating buildings and pipes.

Once coating wears off, it is especially dangerous.

“The sheets wear off naturally and since they date back so many years to the colonial period, they now pose health risks to the school,” Laikipia county Nema director Fanuel Mosago said.

Mosago warned that water collected from the roof can cause cancer.

He said fibres of asbestos accumulate in the body and inhalation of fibres can cause lung cancer.

“We are advising anyone else with asbestos roofing to remove it and seek guidance so that they don’t cause harm to other people when disposing them of,” he said.

The authority directed that asbestos be removed and safely buried in areas far from human settlements.

Mungai said the removal of the roofing is part of the school’s plans to improve infrastructure.

“Students are motivated by the resources the school has. We expect to complete a digital library in six months, equip the offices and put

our 50 acres under cultivation to grow our own food,” Mungai said.

He said the school had engaged the British Army Training Unit in Kenya to drill a borehole.

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