The Chief Officer for Water Ms Jessica Wesonga has implored residents of Kakamega County to take responsibility with their hygiene by treating water before use.

Ms Wesonga said this on Thursday after inspecting Likhomo stream and Likavakava Water spring in Isukha South and Central Wards in Shinyalu Sub-County where nine families have been hospitalised with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomitting.

The Chief Officer said water samples have been collected for analysis to determine the cause of the illness after which a conclusive report will be shared to the public.

During a follow-up meeting with Officers from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA ) and Water Regulatory Authority (WRA), Ms Wesonga noted that the initial NEMA report indicated that most of the contamination in water sources was caused by exposed effluent from surrounding homesteads and institutions which come into contact with the water bodies.

NEMA County Director for Environment Mr. John Maniafu advised heads of schools, hospitals and other institutions to regulate their effluent and directed stakeholders in the sector to inspect water sources on a monthly basis.

Lake Victoria North Water Basin Regional Manager Mr Bernard Omuya appreciated the County for addressing the matter promptly adding that water samples will also be taken from all boarding schools for testing before the institutions reopen. He asked the County to employ more water quality assurance officers.

The exercise comes in the wake of sustained efforts by the County to ensure all learning institutions are inspected before learners reopen for second term.