Broken bottles injure 20 children in Mukuru slums

Wednesday March 18 2020
river

A polluted Ngong River from Mukenia Road in Nairobi’s South B neighbourhood. The river is choking with garbage. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAMMY KIMATU

More than 20 children have been injured by broken bottles near Express Area off Likoni Road in Nairobi’s Industrial Area.

Following the incident, administrators have ordered the bottle business closed indefinitely.

The bottle business has been thriving near Express Bridge on the banks of River Ngong in Nairobi’s South B.

South B Assistant County Commissioner Philip Mbuvi ordered the bottle business, which is run by a prominent businessman, closed.

“I have ordered the broken bottles to be removed from the scene and immediate closure of the business. The bottles, which have blocked the path, endanger people's lives,” Mr Mbuvi said.

Local Children’s Affairs Officer Jane Peter said the pupils sustained deep cuts in their feet while walking to school.

“Many St Bakhita Primary School pupils have been seriously injured by bottles on their way to school,” Ms Peter said on Thursday.

CARTON TRADE

Paper, carton and plastic bottles trade also thrives near the river.  

“The owners of these businesses are untouchable, no official can intimidate them,” said a kiosk operator in the region.   

Last year, Starehe Deputy County Commissioner Kibet Boen ordered all structures in the area demolished after some people grabbed land along the banks of River Ngong.

However, the order was not enforced after Mr Boen was transferred.

Land grabbers have diverted the course of the river towards St Bakhita Primary School perimeter wall.

The institution is run by Mukuru Promotion Centre (MPC) under the Irish Sisters of Mercy.

MPC Director Sr Mary Killeen has blamed land cartels for diverting the river.   

“These people have been diverting water towards the school’s perimeter wall,'' Sr Killeen said.

CARTELS 

The National Environment Management Authority has warned against dumping in River Ngong.

Slum residents have blamed flooding in Mukuru-Kaiyaba and Maasai Village on land grabbing and dumping in River Ngong. 

“Due to dumping in the river, garbage blocks water and causes flooding in Kaiyaba, Maasai Village and Mukuru-Hazina slums,” Mr Christopher Lunalo Madevu, a resident, said.