Warning to Nairobians: Don’t drink the water!

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When I think about the republic of Kenya 35 years ago, I am reminded of the projection that could have been. A process that would have resulted in a well managed and organized country. It is true that after the coup of 82, things begun to go down the drains: the administration entrenched itself focusing on its own survival. It is this that brought about the chaos we see today. In fact the whole change the constitution movement can be traced back to the effects of the 82 coup.

From the traffic mess that is becoming worse by day, to the chaos of devolution, the country is trying to restore the civil system the Kenyatta Government had initiated. There are many who distrust the original Kenyatta Government, with justification. It is true that during the first face of Kenya’s development, many groups and regions were marginalized and the resources were concentrated on certain limited regions. This tragedy however is nothing compared to where the country stands.

Given the stagnation of the country’s economy, many people moved from the rural areas to Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, with a great number moving to Eldoret in recent days. I drove through Eldoret from Kitale and to go from one end of the town to another, it took me one and a half hours! One and a half hours to go through Eldoret town! The town has become so congested it is heart breaking. The roads are narrow and even the development brought by the few progressive people is swallowed up by the chaos! It is sad to stop at the Turskys down town. The shopping mall has no parking and it is adjacent to the chaotic Nairobi – Uganda road. Can you imagine trying to navigate a trailer truck in town? What a mess.

This is nothing compared to the unseen Nightmare in Nairobi. Traditionally, we Kenyans dig water wells on our yard. This is done on the same land that many bury their dead. Not to mention, the toilet is also dug on the same land. You can imagine all the graves in Nairobi due to the population growth, toilets and the jua kali mechanics that change the oil from cars anywhere and anyhow! All this stuff goes underground. Same ground where the water is dug! If a person was to go for a tour of the Aquifer in a boat, the boat would encounter everything from bones, mavi, oil, and, oh my, my. While Governor Kidero is trying to clean the outside of the apple, while he is trying to make Nairobi look like London with CCTV cameras, inside the apple maggots reign! The sewage from Kibera, Mathare, Kangemi, Uthiru and the rich mavi from Muthaiga is floating somewhere in the underground lake. No wonder many Kenyans continue to suffer from, well, you got the picture! When in Nairobi, I boil the water, or avoid it all together. By the way, the liquid is more expensive than a Fanta Orange: Therefore, I don’t drink the water!

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD) LeagueKenya.org

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