When The Sewage Hits the Fan
It was one day mid September that we saw tons of cars converge where Rimpa road meets the Kiserian river. Donated, back in the day, to the community by two families to be used as a watering hole for cattle and people from the area, it is now a hot spot of all sorts of controversy. So it was with that in mind that we ventured out to investigate the horde of cars. On approach, we noticed that the occupants, all of Chinese decent, were madly taking pictures of the area around the river and when asked what was going on, a gentleman shockingly told us they were scouting for a sewage location.
On further questioning, we were rudely told by another gentleman ( I use that term very loosely here), ‘Mtalipwa, Muhame’ implying that indeed this was no scouting mission but most likely a site visit. This was confirmed a few days later when we discovered an ad from a few weeks back, inviting bidders to visit the site of the proposed Kiserian sewage. Further investigations led us to finding a feasibility study dating back to 2009 and detailed maps of the exact location of the Kiserian sewage plant. The maps show an area of approximately 50 acres that include Rimpa Estates as well as several of our neighbors. However, attempts to find an environmental impact assessment report (EIA) of the sewage plant have borne no fruit. What I find very disturbing about this Sewage plant is:
- Land Grabbing – There was land already demarcated for a sewage plant that we all know was subdivided and sold off by the defunct Olkejuado County Council. So, how about they resettle those that are on the land now? That land terrain is still the same and can be used for it’s intended purpose. Why come take for pennies on the dollar someone else’s land when there is already designated land for the sewer. Why was it shrouded in secrecy since 2009 when people continued to move into and invest in the Rimpa community instead of making it public back then? You CANNOT take someone’s hard earned sweat in secrecy for pennies!
- Location – Ok so maybe ‘walikula’ the demarcated piece of land, why, out of all the land in Kajiado would anyone in their right mind pick the Rimpa area as a site to build a sewer?? Rimpa is a highly populated area that continues to grow almost on a daily basis. People living here are mostly small scale farmers and a few ranchers. Rimpa Estates is a big animal and crop farming business that supports a budding wildlife population. The Kiserian river cuts through the community providing a source of life to many of the small farmers. It is also a tributary of the Athi River, and putting a plant on the river at this point makes no bloody sense as it means you are going to destroy the flora and fauna all the way down stream, including the Nairobi National Park.
- EIA – The fact that this report cannot be found is highly suspect. No one in the Rimpa community has been approached by NEMA about the plant. Why? And how then can bidding be ongoing without this report? I smell a big fat rat!!!
Although we are in court – we are suing Athi Water Services – we are asking the community far and wide for support as we seek justice. I urge all of you to think about what the impact of this plant on our community would entail. Call the member of parliament for Kajiado North, Kajiado East and the Governor of Kajiado and tell them to stop this madness. Things have to be done right, without impunity or favor.