Kisii Town residents have expressed outrage over raw sewage that has been flowing freely into some streets and into streams.
A spot check by the Nation indicated that the road leading to Daraja Mbili Market had burst sewage lines and overflowing manholes.
Raw sewage was also spotted in River Nyakomisaro, which connects to rivers Riana and Gucha that drain into Lake Victoria.
On Friday, angry residents vented on Twitter with the hashtag #KisiiSewageMenace.
“The raw sewage flows along Kisii-Kisumu road like a river, especially during the rainy season. It is a great mess. At times, the sewage water splashes on pedestrians as we drive over the dirty waters. Our clients are not spared either,” said Mr Dan Mogoyo, a motorcyclist.
Traders with businesses along the route have not been spared either.
The sewage water gets into Daraja Mbili Market, one of the largest open-air markets in the region.
“We are worried that there is no permanent solution to this problem. We are at risk of contracting cholera,” said Ms Ann Kerubo, a fruit seller.
“Those responsible should sort out this mess once and for all.”
Ms Kerubo said the filthy streets have ruined the once beautiful Kisii Town.
Hotels located along rivers Nyakomisaro and Riana, among them Storm, Dans, Mash Park, Savana, La’ Premier, Bridge Camp, Blue Nile and Water Park, have been affected by the stench from the raw effluent in the rivers.
National Environment Management Authority County Director Tom Togo said they were addressing the problem.
“We have received reports of raw sewage flowing freely in some parts of Kisii Town and in our rivers. We have our officers on site,” he said.
Mr Togo said they had linked up with Gusii Waters and Sewerage Company (GUWASCO) to ensure that the problem was solved.
County Deputy Communication Director Kenan Miruka blamed the problem on sabotage by political rivals.
“These elements are keen on tainting the name of the county government because the items retrieved by our teams dealing with the problem include bags, rock boulders, tyres and tree stumps,” he said.
Mr Miruka also accused private exhauster companies of dumping liquid waste into manholes within Kisii Town at night, yet they are supposed to dump it at the last manhole near the wastewater treatment works in Suneka.
He added that other causes of blockage include dumping of plastic bags into the sewer line, vandalism of manhole concrete slab covers for use in bathrooms, and building owners who discharge liquid waste directly into open drains.
“The Department of Energy, Water, Environment and Natural Resources will take stern action against residents found dumping waste directly into rivers. In the long term, the department will carry out a major clean-up exercise along rivers Nyanchwa and Nyakomisaro before the end of this month,” said Mr Miruka.