Taking a trip down memory lane, it is hard to imagine there was once a time when rivers in Kenya were a pristine wonder of nature. Rivers flowed with clear waters that you could actually drink from without having to worry that you might spend a week at the hospital being treated for a case of cholera or typhoid. The rivers played host to a healthy amount of fish that at the time kids would spend the day fishing, roast their catch and have enough left over for their parents at home.
Enough nostalgia, that's a bygone era. Today Kenyan rivers are so polluted that it is difficult to differentiate them from a sewage treatment plant. Worse of them is the once glorious Fourteen Falls. The waterfall at its peak had an unparalleled beauty and grandeur that was unmatched this side of the Sahara. The once clear waters have been turned into a slimy green color and at bottom of the fall, a suspicious form blankets the entire area.
In addition to the obvious environmental hazard, the degradation of Fourteen Falls is causing untold suffering to residents who relied on it as a source of income. This is because many local tourists and tour companies are avoiding the area. Many Kenyan who had once visited the area will remember being greeted by young men performing gravity-defying tricks diving into the water below, now only a few remain and are aware of the danger the river poses to their health.
Despite the visible damage being done on the river little or no action has been taken by relevant authorities to save this once famous attraction. The environment CS Keriako Tobiko tough talk has turned out to be nothing but hot air.
Here are some of the experiences of Twitter users who had the (un)fortunate chance to visit the site after its fall from grace.
Via Minaz Manji @hon_nyoro Good morning Your Excellency, Fourteen Falls are stunning and, good revenue for the county but...you can attract more international visitors if your county can clean up the garbage, provide clean toilet & discipline business people to work ethically. Thank you sir.
Via Geography of Kenya@kenyangeography
The rainy season transforms the Fourteen Falls along Athi river from a foul-smelling, grey trickle to a thunderous brown wall of water that crushes down the falls.
Via Pauline Warui @PwaruiM This is Fourteen Falls today. Green slime is painting these beautiful rocks where fresh water once flowed. Pollution from upstream industries and sewers yet someone is drawing a salary to protect our environment. Please tweet until they clean this breathtaking site.
For the past week, the water in Athi-Galana river (Kenya's 2nd largest river) has changed color to completely black.
On part of its course through Athiriver town heading through to Fourteen falls, you can see what's happening to the water.
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