CRACKDOWN

Nema closes two flats in Kisii over illegal sewage systems

Regional boss Ronald Ofula says such houses pose dangers to residents

In Summary

• In the mad rush to set up new structures in the county capital, some proprietors could be using bribes to escape enforcement.

• The crackdown in Kisii and other adjacent towns began in December and will continue in weeks to come across the county. 

Officials from the environment regulator have shut three high-rise apartments at Menyinkwa and Mwembe areas in Kisii and ordered tenants out because the buildings lacked proper sewerage connections.

Ronald Ofula, the National Environment Management Authority head in Kisii, said such houses pose dangers to residents. 

"It borders on shame for proprietors to construct houses with no proper planning on where they will direct the sewerage systems to," Ofula warned.

He said in the mad rush to set up new structures in the county capital, some proprietors could be using bribes to escape enforcement.

The crackdown in Kisii and other adjacent towns began in December and will continue in weeks to come across the county, Ofula said.

"We are constantly receiving intelligence of people who want to cut corners in putting up houses. As an agency, we warn them that we are on high alert and we will haul them to court when we catch up with them," Ofula said.

The crackdowns shall be extended to hotels suspected of spilling sewerage into rivers at night, he added.

"A few names of such establishments have been forwarded to us within Kisii town while others are in Ogembo. Be sure that we shall take action and the fines would be punitive," Ofula said.

Dozens of structures set on riparian land across the region were demolished in November following an operation by a multi-agency team.

A hotel and a restaurant were affected during the demolitions. The sewage system from the staff quarters of the hotel was emptying into the nearby River Nyakomisaro. The restaurant had some extensions into the river banks.

On Thursday, Ofula said they will revisit the structure to ensure compliance to the environmental safety rules.

"We may start a similar swoop if we find that they have begun reconnecting the sewage systems into the rivers again," Ofula said.

He said dirty rivers pose serious health challenges to the residents and their animals.

(edited by o. owino)