Governor Wavinya Links High Cancer Incidences to Polluted River Athi

February 23, 2024

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti has stated that the widespread pollution of River Athi is responsible for the high incidences of cancer and other life-threatening diseases among residents of Mwala Sub-County.

Addressing a public participation event in Kyawango, Wavinya called on President William Ruto to expedite the proposed rehabilitation of the river, emphasizing that numerous residents who have consumed the water have suffered adverse effects.

“I call upon President Ruto to swiftly actualize the clean-up of this river in order to prevent further loss of lives of our people through cancer and other ailments,” she said.

The Governor observed a correlation between the residents’ consumption of water from River Athi and the number of registered cancer cases in that region.

“Cancer cases in Mwala have been on the rise due to heavy pollution of this river and, unfortunately, the State has not taken any meaningful measures to tame the situation,” she said.

According to Wavinya, neglecting the cleanup of River Athi could jeopardize the multi-billion Thwake Dam project, which is primarily dependent on water from the facility.

Simultaneously, she encouraged local residents to undergo regular cancer screening sessions, emphasizing that early detection makes it a curable condition.

“I encourage our people from Mwala and elsewhere across the county, to visit our cancer screening centres in our major hospitals and get tested. Cancer, when detected at early stages, is curable,” she said.

The Governor expressed disappointment that Kenya was struggling to address such a crucial facility, which serves as the lifeline for millions of people downstream.

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