Nairobi News


Here in Kariobangi, life goes on even as burst main sewer spews filthy raw waste – PHOTOS

To many residents of Kariobangi North, a sumptuous meal, raw human waste and a suffocating pungent odour still go hand in hand after the main sewer line burst on Wednesday morning.

The smell at Simon Muthini’s butchery which was one of the shops that the sewer spewed its contents was as if one had opened a thousand unfinished meals in various stages of decomposition, being blow-dried directly into your lungs.

Unfortunately, people were comfortably having their meal and buying meat at the stall.

When the Nation team visited the site, we found Mr Muthini cooking ugali not considering the raw wastes that had settled next to his hotel.

We could actually see the waste yet food was being cooked and peeled fruits sold. This is a clear sign of a serious public health crisis and outbreak of diseases.

Human excreta and the lack of adequate personal and domestic hygiene have been implicated in the transmission of many infectious diseases including cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio and schistosomiasis.


The overloaded sewer which has been in existence since 1960 with no serious service being done was sending human waste into people’s businesses and residential houses.

Ms Jane Chitechi, had to transport her children to her neighbours house on the fourth floor since they were not affected. Her house on the first floor was covered with a foul-smelling liquid that bubbled up from the main sewer system.

“Apart from the smell which was everywhere, they were safe since the content did not get into their houses. I stay on the first floor and you can imagine the shit that got into my house,” she said

Ms Chitechi’s one bed-roomed house is in a mess, the smell is unbearable.

“I tell you it’s better now. If you had come yesterday, you would be shocked there were stool and feces everywhere. I was literally stepping on them,” she said.

Several people and businesses were affected.


Ms Patience Havaya has closed down her shop and waiting for the mess to dry up before she could remove them.

“It is better I wait than having to touch them when they are fresh. It is very unfortunate that we have to stay in such a life but the government has to move with speed and repair the sewer,” she said

The problem has since been rectified.

The residents have asked the Nairobi county government to urgently repair the sewer line to avoid an outbreak of diseases.

However, the Nairobi governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko who visited the affected families yesterday said the problem lies with the area residents.

“Most of the businesses and houses in this areas are built on top of the sewer line. We are going to demolish all of them. I am appealing to everyone to cooperate,” he said

He said for those with genuine title deeds, to follow up with county offices for compensation. Mr Sonko gave out disinfectants, blankets, sanitary towels and Sh300,000 for the affected.