By Dennis Lubanga
Police officers have been deployed to guard and keep off residents of Maili Nne from impending danger, after oil was discovered in four water wells in the area.
The residents were on Saturday astonished to find petrol in the wells they have been drawing water from for the past 30 years.
As expected from some of them, they immediately thanked their stars and started drawing the oil for sale oblivious of the danger they were exposing themselves to.
“We have been drawing water from the four wells since 1981 when they were drilled but over the weekend one of the wells began producing petrol which we thought to us was a blessing,” said David Mwaura Waithaka, a resident.
Mr Mwaura said that most of the people in the area do not have sustainable income and so they thought the oil spillage would have changed their lives for the better.
But on Wednesday, the Kenya Pipeline Company distanced itself from the oil spill affecting the water wells saying the affected areas are ‘too far’ from its facilities.
KPC Acting Managing Director Joe Sang said a multi government agency team is currently investigating the spillage to unearth the real source.
It should be noted that the KPC pipeline does not pass through this area. KPC would therefore like to point out that preliminary findings show there is no chance that the said product could have originated from a KPC pipeline,” Mr Sang’ said in a statement.
It is still unclear where the petrol is coming from with locals suspecting it could be leaking from underground tanks of two petrol stations about 100 metres away.
“We thought the petrol must be coming from underground reservoirs of the petrol stations or from Kenya Pipeline underground pipes but now it seems like a discovery because the flow has continued despite the two entities stating that the fuel is not coming from their reservoirs,” said Mosese Mukavane another resident.
Bishop Boniface Atsenga of Gospel To The World Faith Ministries, Maili Nne called on the government to compensate and relocate the residents as they were living on a time bomb.
“The officers have even restricted us from lighting fire to cook and have also restricted us from accessing our church to worship,” explained the disgruntled Atsenga whose church is just adjacent to one of the affected water wells.
Source: All Africa