Panic as Kenya Pipeline warns staff against using tap water after sewage contamination

Residents of Kenya Pipeline Staff Quarters in Embakasi have been advised to stay away from tap water after it was contaminated with raw sewage.

A memo written by Kenya Pipeline official only known as W.K. Ruto and copied to the acting managing director Hudson Andambi, among other senior officials, indicated that the water supply in the area was compromised.

“There is a reported case of water contamination at the Embakasi (Pipeline Staff Quarters) Estate and a number of estate residents are affected. Some have sought medical treatment in various city hospitals,” read the November 13, 2019 memo in part.

The official also clarified that Kenya Pipeline had reached out to other state bodies concerned with health and water supply in a bid to get to the bottom of the matter.

“We have contacted the relevant authorities for assistance in testing and finding out the cause of contamination including Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company, Mukuru Health Clinic and our town clinic among others,” the memo went on.

Kenya Pipeline - Panic as Kenya Pipeline warns staff against using tap water after sewage contamination

The memo warned residents in the affected area to stay away from tap water and seek treatment in case they were experiencing diarrhoea and related discomfort.

“Stop using tap water. Seek immediate treatment in case you experience diarrhoea and related symptoms. Particular attention should be given to young children,” said the advisory memo.

Kenya Pipeline also said its clinical officers were ready to assist any affected cases in the area, adding that it would work with the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company to supply clean water to affected residents.

“Clinic staff are on standby for any assistance (that may be required). Meanwhile, we are making necessary arrangements with the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company to provide clean water to estate residents through the use of bowsers,” said the company statement.

Deputy Public Health Officer Wilson Langat confirmed the case of contamination saying it occurred when water from a sewer seeped into a reservoir in the area.

“The contamination incident occurred after the contents of a sewer spilled into a water reservoir that serves residents of the area adjacent to Pipeline Staff Quarters,” said Mr Langat.

Mr Langat said the contamination had affected a number of residents, but added that the exact number was unknown since they could have sought treatment at different hospitals.

“We are aware of reports indicating that some people have been treated at various city hospitals for diarrhoea like symptoms. At this stage, it would be premature to comment on the exact number since they could have been treated at difference health facilities,” said Mr Langat.

Calls to all the listed Kenya Pipeline lines for their city offices for official clarification on the matter went unanswered.

Mr Langat, however, said officers from the county public health department had been dispatched to the area to collect samples of the affected water for testing and analysis to confirm the extent of the contamination.

“Our officers have already collected samples from the affected water and we have forwarded them to our laboratories for testing,” he said.

He asked residents to avoid using tap water in their homes until the reservoir had been drained, cleaned and refilled with water certified as safe for domestic use.

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