Residents raise concerns over medical waste dumped at Kipkaren river

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Some of the items picked by the Kipkaren residents
Some of the items picked by the Kipkaren residents

Residents of Kipkaren market at the border of Kakamega and Uasin Gishu Counties want legal action to be taken against a private clinic owner whom they have accused of dumping used medical needles and other waste from his clinic in Kipkarren River.

Speaking to West Media after over 500 used medical needles, syringes, medicine bottles, HIV testing kits and blood-stained cotton wools were discovered dumped few inches from the river, the residents led by Messrs Jotham Wanjala and Obed Chivini bitterly condemned the incident.

They said thousands of families in Lugari sub-county depend on for water for domestic use and such pollution posed a great danger to their health. “It disappointing thousands of residents including the mama mboga at Kipkaren market, hotel owner among others all use water from this river and with such kind of contamination is likely to affect them,” said Wanjala.

They said apart from fetching water for domestic use, their animals also drink water from the same river and also there are those who scoop sand from it and dumping used needles in the river could cause great harm to them.

Some of the used medical needles, syringes and other dumped waste at Kipkaren river
Some of the used medical needles, syringes and other dumped waste at Kipkaren river

They alleged that the clinic owner has been secretly dumping the waste in the river at night without their knowledge and it is suspected this time he never disposed the waste into the river and the items fell few inches from the river bank.

After realizing the waste had raised great concern among residents the clinic owner hired services of a man who secretly sneaked to the scene after residents had moved a distance and poured petrol on the items and tried to burn them before he was chased by angry residents.

They have called on the department of public health and sanitation in Uasin Gishu County to take a legal action against the clinic owner for endangering their lives. They also want a crackdown to be done in the area to ensure all private clinics owners have dumping sites.

However, when asked to comment, area public health officer Mr. Luka Kanda Kibet said he had proceeded on leave and he had not received information about the incident promising to assign one of his officers to follow up the matter.