Friday, March 28, 2014

Wajir sewer project

"We really wanted to do away with the archaic method of waste disposal," Elmi said, urging residents to be a little more patient.

Residents of Wajir have used bucket latrines for more than 50 years to protect underground water from contamination.

He said the British government introduced the buckets because "the high water table in the town meant construction of pit latrines or modern sewage systems were regarded as impossible or impractical". Water is close to the surface, often less than five metres underground, he said.

Former Wajir East Member of Parliament Mohamed Abdi Mohamud told Sabahi there has been a consensus among Wajir leaders to prioritise a modern sewage system to address health concerns.

A 2010 report by the Kenya Medical Research Institute indicated that more than 60% of shallow wells in Wajir have been contaminated due to poor management of solid human waste.

Wajir District Medical Officer of Health Dr. Salat Mohamed told Sabahi that most of the patients seeking services at health centres have water-borne diseases. He said diarrhoeal diseases, typhoid, dysentery and intestinal worms are prevalent.

"There is the constant fear of cholera outbreak, especially during rainy seasons that flood the town. A cholera outbreak in 2001 killed 21 people in the town," he said. "A proper sewer system would drastically reduce the cases, as the waste will not float in the town."