State House sewage is stinking up Kileleshwa

Raw sewer from State Housing emptying into Kirichwa River in Kileleshwa, Nairobi. [Photo: James Mwangi]

 Raw sewage from State House is emptying into Kirichwa River in Kileleshwa. This has infuriated residents in the neighbourhood.

The sewer pipe from the ‘House on the Hill’ passes above the tributary of Nairobi River. For months now, stinking sewage has been streaming into the river, much to the discomfort of residents along Githunguri Road who share the river’s riparian path with State House.

A resident told The Nairobian that, “The stench is unbearable when the waste joins the already heavily polluted river. At times, we can’t use our backyards because of the foul smell emanating from the river.” 

Residents claim that the leakage has been reported to authorities since 2015, but no action has been taken. Millions of shillings have been allocated by national and county governments to rehabilitate city rivers but pollution seems to be getting worse.

The sewerage from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official residence, schools and other buildings on the expansive has also accumulated fetid and unsightly waste. Residents fear the worse if no action is taken soon.

Nairobi City County Environment boss Peter Kimori, said he was not aware of the burst sewer line, though the county’s crackdown on pollutants along the same river had netted 16 individuals, all of whom have been fined Sh100,000 each.

Kimori said he raised the State House sewerage burst with the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) Managing Director Philip Gichuki to follow it up following queries raised by The Nairobian.

A National Environment Management Authority (Nema) official confirmed that the matter has been reported to them twice since last year, and the same forwarded to NCWSC for action.

Early last year, the Nairobi County government promised to rehabilitate rivers in the city after a group of residents threatened to sue the county government over loss of tenants as result of smelly rivers.

City Hall admitted knowledge of pollutants, most of them industries, developers, operators of slaughterhouses, slum residents and small business operators.

The county sought 1,000 days to tame the problem, but little has been accomplished as pollution, largely untreated sewage and garbage, continue choke the city.

Contacted for comment, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu told The Nairobian that, “ We are looking into the matter and will revert to you.”