Mombasa’s Bombolulu estate, a highly populated is facing a possible cholera outbreak as sewage water flows into homes.
Vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, hotels and street food traders all expose their goods to a swamp of stinking sewage water at the marketplace.
Despite the filth and being aware of the health hazard, traders still sell foodstuffs to the residents amidst the flowing sewage.
They are calling on the county government to clean up the mess.
They say they have complained of the poor drainage in Bombolulu.
“We sell vegetables here because that is where our buyers are. This place becomes worse especially if it rains but we cannot move because we have to pay our bills,” said Eric Matumu, one of the traders.
His kiosk is above a terrace filled with stagnant waste water mixed with plastic bottles.
He confirmed that there is usually outbreak of diseases during the rainy season resulting from the mosquitos breeding in the stagnant water while most of his neighbours often complain of stomach aches.
“We are suffering a lot even as traders. Like right now it is raining. During the last season we had an outbreak of cholera. But our leaders only promise to repair this place when campaigning. No one has since bothered to come clear the water here,” said Mr Matumu.
Jackline Wanja, who sells sweet potatoes, said she is aware of the risk involved when cooking and selling the food near the water but insists that she has no choice but to do it.
“The water comes and covers this whole place and it is sometimes difficult to sell. But what would you do if you had children to feed at home?” she posed.
When contacted, Mombasa County Health Committee Chairman Kibwana Swaleh said they are in the process of educating the residents and traders about the risks involved when buying and selling fresh food in such an environment.
“We have assigned people to inspect such areas and educate the residents of the dangers of buying such food as well as things to look out for during this rainy season to avoid getting waterborne diseases. Hygiene is very important,” he said.
Rains are being experienced in the coastal town.