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Eight die of cholera in Marsabit


A woman quenches her thirst at River Molo in Rongai after a long trek in search of water. Residents are turning to the river after the wells they relied on dried up. Photo/JOSEPH KIHERI  
Eight people have died of cholera in Laisamis, Marsabit, while six members of a Nairobi family are being treated of the disease at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Fifteen others in the northern Kenya region are in serious condition, according to MP Joseph Lekuton.
The six Nairobi family members contracted the disease in Dandora Estate, Embakasi, after drinking contaminated water from a nearby well, the Public Health director, Dr Shanaaz Shariff, said on Monday.
Following the outbreak, a team of Public Health officials visited the area and treated the contaminated water with chlorine tablets.
“As the water rationing continues to bite, I would like to appeal to residents to observe basic hygiene standards and ensure they boil drinking water at all times,” Dr Shariff said.
If residents are unable to boil their drinking water, the director said, they should add a teaspoonful of Jik into 20 litres of water and allow the chemical to remain overnight.
The rationing programme in the city is forcing some residents to use water from unknown or contaminated sources.
Increased cases
At the same time, the drought being experienced in most parts of the country has also led to a severe shortage of water, resulting in a rise in cases of cholera and other water-borne diseases.
According to experts, more than 50 people have died from the killer disease in various parts of the country in the past six months.
Mr Lekuton told journalists in Nairobi yesterday that the killer disease was spreading fast among the pastoral communities.

“The situation has been worsened by lack of hospitals in the area,” he said.
 
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