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A section of Utawala residents on Wednesday lit bonfires in protest over sand and ballast trucks which mess up the road and bring a lot of dust.

“I have stayed in this region for the longest time. My house has dust everyday and we cannot even sleep. These lorries run here since morning to night,” a resident said.

She said all the tenants that rented her house have left because the dust in the area has become unbearable.

“We have the right in this country. The dust is too much, even the president should come here and witness this for himself. This road is not for lorries, they should desist from using this route.”

Utawala residents lit bonfires./ courtesy

The trucks reportedly use the road to avoid the weighbridge at Mlolongo, a situation the locals said exposes children to respiratory diseases.

“We have tried to talk to our MCA but there have not been any solution since 2004. We have been suffering. Former MCA tried to solve it but nothing happened,” he said.

A resident Victor Mochere said they have the right to demand for better infrastructures in the country.

Do we need to protest in order for the government to provide amenities and build infrastructures? The state in Utawala is pathetic,” he said.

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Kenya Red Cross advised motorists to take caution adding that the sections of roads are barricaded. Air pollution levels remain dangerously high in many parts of the world.

New data from the World Health Organisation shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.

Updated estimations reveal an alarming death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution.

More than 90% of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa.

While Kenya has gazetted laws such as the Air Quality Regulations passed in 2014 to limit air pollution and protect the air that we breathe, there is limited information on the level of particulate air pollutants in Nairobi.

The lack of data makes it difficult to assess the potential impact of air pollution in order to adequately respond to the threats posed by poor air quality.

Read: Measuring Nairobi’s air quality using locally assembled low-cost sensors

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