Two face charges as hundreds of people living in Kenya are feared to very ill, including two reported miscarriages, after it was reported that a number of chemical containers have been dumped near the port of Mombasa
Witnesses including a truck driver had told authorities that they had noticed vast amounts of dark liquid spreading across the surface of the water near the port. It is thought that the giant containers full of chemical waste had been dumped near the port at Kipevu. The waste is thought to contain small levels of nitric acid.
Reports of the liquid were first noted around a month of ago. Since then hundreds of locals have complained of feeling very ill as well as two previously pregnant women who have since lost their babies. Fumes have been reported from the two massive 20 foot tanks.
General sickness complaints of people around the slum have been of severe stomach upsets, chest pains and breathing problems.
One of the slum's residents told BBC News,
"I don't enjoy sex like I used to. My wife has been complaining too - I'm suspecting that it is the toxic waste to blame as we've never had a problem before."
A correspondent for the BBC, who is in the area on research has also complained of feeling very unwell whilst there. Working for the BBC, Odhiambo Joseph said that he had breathing and stomach problems.
On combating the problem, the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) have confirmed that they have started to pour tonnes of sand and other neutralising agents into the toxic, yellow liquid to calm the effects of the liquid spill.
According to Mombasa's Deputy Mayor John Mcharo, two people have since been arrested for the dumping of the chemical waste are awaiting charges as soon as a full report on the spillage has been completed.
The Deputy Major told BBC News,
"I cannot name the people now but we expect a report on the effects of the waste later today and we shall proceed and charge them in court."
The actual contents of the two tanks are yet to be confirmed, but it is thought that the report on exactly what was in the containers will be confirmed as soon as results from lab tests reveal the results.
Around 1,500 people have been effected by the chemical waste, and many animals owned by the residents have died. Yet nothing perhaps could so saddening as the two pregnant women who have lost their babies since the waste had got into the latrine systems. One of the women spoke to BBC News. Her name is Kibibi. She said,
"It was a three-month-old pregnancy. I had gone to relieve myself in the toilet, while there but was hit by a strong fume. I quickly gathered myself up and ran back towards my room but I could not manage - I fell down and I started bleeding immediately."
The effects of the spill could go on for many days yet.