Poisonous maize seized at IDP camps

November 25, 2010 12:00 am

, NYAHURURU, Kenya, Nov 25 – Public Health officials from Nyandarua West district have seized over 300 bags of aflatoxin-infested maize supplied to various IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps.

The officials detained the maize at Kasuku area and cautioned the IDPs against consuming it until the source was established.

According to Weru divisional Public Health Officer (PHO) Francis Theuri, the maize arrived in the area on Tuesday night but the source remains unknown.

He said the maize was being supplied to the various internal refugee camps in the area.

Speaking to Capital News on Thursday, Mr Theuri said residents have been advised against consuming the maize which has already been confirmed to be contaminated and unfit for human consumption.

“The maize was received on Tuesday night and we have not yet established where it had come from. But we have so far advised the post election victims not to consume the maize because it is bad”, he said.

The Public health official said the government was now working on plans to destroy the consignment.

The Maua IDP camp had already received 62 bags of the bad maize, Kaimabu camp 100, while New Hope IDP camp had received 50 bags of the cereal. The rest had been distributed to several children’s homes in the area.

New Hope IDP camp Chairman Isaac Waweru said some of the victims could have consumed the maize were it not for the fast action by the officials to scrutinise the produce just before it was distributed to the families.

“Before we distributed the maize, we discovered some bags had rotten maize and after thorough checking we found the whole consignment was contaminated,” he said.

The incident comes barely a month after the government seized over 50 bags of such contaminated maize to IDPs living at Ndatho farm in Subukia area of Nakuru County.

The maize had been supplied by the government to the post election violence victims living at the Ndatho Farm as relief food only to be discovered that it contained the dangerous chemicals.

Samples tested by the Public Health Ministry were found to contain aflatoxin poison that can cause death.



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