There was panic in Wajir as hundreds of vacuum flasks were broken after allegations spread that the substance between the flasks’ inner and outer glasses could cause cancer.
On Wednesday, the county was treated to a spectacle of thermos breaking which rocked various parts of the county as word quickly spread on social media of the new ‘discovery.’
Tea sellers and buyers who were shocked by the news decided to prove the report for themselves and started breaking the vacuum flasks. The substance between the glasses was said to be three tablets that could cause cancer.
According to Fatuma Ahmed a tea seller she decided to break her flask after she was advised by one of her sons for fear of contracting cancer.
“I have seen what cancer can do and I can no longer risk ,” she said.
Another resident Maryan Mohamed said that she broke her flask after seeing some of her fellow tea business ladies breaking their flasks.
She vowed never to use a flask until she is sure of its safety.
However, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, a resident, had a different opinion saying that he couldn’t believe the rumour since he had been drinking tea from thermoses for years and had never developed cancer.
The spectacle was wide spread in Wajir Town as pieces of broken glass littered the town.
Further reports say that the craze spread to parts of Garissa and Mandera counties as ‘caring’ family members shared the videos and photos of the tablets urging their relatives to break their thermoses and see for themselves.
More fear gripped the town after locals found the three tablets as alleged after breaking their flasks.
A spot check by the Nation on Wednesday and Thursday revealed that a section of tea sellers had shifted to metallic kettles for fear of ‘contracting cancer.’
The rumour was a subject of discussion across Wajir Town and social media sites as residents gave mixed reactions on the matter.
The issue prompted local health officials to take samples of the tablets for further tests in a bid to clear residents’ fears.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in Wajir County and perhaps the reason for the knee jerk reaction.
Throat cancer account for most deaths in the county .
Business quickly dimmed for thermos sellers as potential buyers stayed away while the metallic kettles flew off the shelves.