For Online E-newspaper
Nairobi News : December 18th 2013
news These boys risk lives for scrap metal Tug of war. Health official says there is a danger of contracting waterborne diseases; parents have abdicated their duties and area MP on the spot over business with children STELLA CHERONO, NairobiNews email@example.com diving into the water ferrying a cocktail of sewerage and solid waste in the Ngong River canal. The canal, which passes through the E slum acts as a barrier between it and the middleclass estate of South C. The barefoot boys as young as seven get into the water, armed with a magnetic dome mounted on a bar, which they use to gather metals swept by the waters from neighbouring estates. Eight-year-old Elias Mutinda’s mother, Josephine Ndanu, says the boys are safe. They cannot drown, she confidently adds. “He has been diving into the water for the past three years. He will be fine,” Ndanu assures us. True Health hazard • Sharp objects: These normally inflict injuries on the children’s feet as they try to fish out metal objects to sell to scrap metal dealers. • Murky waters: The water ferrying a cocktail of sewerage and solid waste in the Ngong River canal poses a lot of health hazards for the children who dive in competing to get the most metal to sell. verything happening at Mukuru Kwa Reuben is usual. Nothing is abnormal. Not even the boys to her words, Elias and his friends fish out a few small metallic objects from the water. The boys however report that the day has not been good. All they managed to collect are bottle tops, nails and pins. The more than 15 boys say this is their daily routine. They usually collect a large enough pile of metals and sell it to a middleman who in turn sells it to a company linked to Embakasi South Member of Parliament Irshad Sumra. Mr Sumra is the secretary general of Kenya Iron and Scrap Metal Association. Mr Sumra said he was not aware of the activities, adding that scrap metal is usually taken to his company by grown-ups who are registered with his company. “Now that we are on holiday, we have to make a little money for ourselves. It is better than playing,” Mutinda says. He notes that together with his three friends, they fill one two-kilogramme tin with scrap metal after three days of non-stop searching. For a full tin, which they call gorogoro, they make between 5h75 to Sh90, depending on the weight of the metals. The middleman has to weigh their catch before buying it. With the money they get, they buy snacks, books, shoes and even clothes. Another boy, James Kyalo, says many children sacrifice play time to fish for the ‘precious metals.’ “Here, you grow with the knowledge that metals have to be removed from the water and sold. After all, all the children do it, and you will not have someone to play with if you do not James: Here, you grow with the knowledge that metals have to be removed from water and sold. After all, all children do it” To view VIDEO of the story, download the NMG PLAY android app on Google Play and scan the picture The boys in Mukuru slum run a magnet in the sewer hoping to attract some metal. Below, a boy shows one of the magnets they use. Stella Cherono, NairobiNews come to the canal,” he says. James Kariuki, a Public Health Offic- er at Mukuru kwa Reuben Clinic, James Kariuki says the water in the canal poses a health risk to the children. “They are at a risk of contracting waterborne diseases because the water is heavily polluted with a high concentration of metals,” Mr Kariuki said. The children say they are often hurt by sharp objects in the water and their feet are used to wounds that most of the time become septic. Wednesday, Dec 18 - Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 nairobinews.co.ke 13 SECURITY NOW ENHANCED AS NYUMBA KUMI INITIATIVE ON Dandora. Residents of Dan- dora have rolled out the Nyumba Kumi initiative, which is meant to boost security in the neighbourhood. The houses have been divided into groups with three leaders each representing women, men and youth. Each court has been di- rected to build a main gate at which any stranger visiting the premises has to be vetted and cleared to enter. “Every court has a male elder, a female elder and a youth leader, who help in reporting insecurity cases to the police,” District Officer Andrew Kimani said. “Through this, we are able to know each and every member in the community without straining too much,” he added. Mr Kimani said chiefs and their assistants had been mandated to assist the group leaders in discharging their duties. The courts have helped the residents of Dandora to change their perspective about the estate, which for a long time has been known for insecurity. “I hold barazas together with all the chiefs in every location at which we sensitise people especially the youth, to engage themselves in activities that can earn them a living,” he said. In every court, the residents have organised themselves into groups that engage them positively. “We have women groups, men groups and youth groups, which we help to borrow loans from the government and give them advice on how to manage their businesses,” he said. Mr Kimani attests that over the past eight months, security in most parts of Dandora has been enhanced. “Nowadays people can walk to and from their houses at any time and no one will attack them, unlike in the past when you would not walk across the estate with your phone,” he said. D-day for matatu owners as court rules on suit against parking fees M PHILIP MUYANGA, NairobiNews firstname.lastname@example.org atatu Saccos will today know whether they will continue paying the current parking fees. Justice Isaac Lenaola is expected to deliver judgment in a case where they claim new increased fees which were to be effected on November 1 were a violation of the Traffic Act. The increase was contained in the County Finance Act 2013 that was passed in October. The judgment had been listed for Decem- Matatus await passengers. Operators claim that new parking fee rates are a violation of the traffic act. File, NairobiNews ber 6 but a notice on the court’s cause list indicated all rulings and judgments scheduled for that day would be read today. The Saccos are enjoying interim orders prohibiting the county government from effecting the increament. Nairobi City County Board had after the is- suance of the orders moved to court seeking to have them set aside but in vain. The court was of the view that, should the petition by the PSV Saccos fail, then the County Government and the board would have no reason to continue with their appeal. Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui the Saccos said that although the county had the power to impose parking fees, it cannot override the Traffic Act. Parking fees “This is not a demand made out of the blue; it is a requirement of the County Government Act and the County Government of Nairobi should not be allowed to violate the law,” said Mr Kinyanjui, who stressed that the orders sought applied to parking fees only. The new law, which received approval with its publication in the County Gazette and the County Budget and Appropriation Committee, had proposed to raise fees for saloon cars parked in the CBD to Sh300 and Sh200 for those parked outside the city centre. Funds deficit The county lawyer had argued that opera- tions of the County of Nairobi risked being taken over by the national government due to deficit of funds if the anti-parking fees petition was upheld. “The court should consider that the inter- est of the residents outweighs those of the matatu sector. The county only receives Sh9.7 billion from the national government,” said lawyer Tom Ojienda, for the County Government.
December 16th 2013
December 20th 2013