Instant market at the foot of a hilly Jesus stone at Kaila village in Seme, Kisumu county in a picture taken on June 04,2017. Danger is looming in the village as the area has no latrine to serve the huge traffic of people visiting the stone as many resort to use the bushes to releave self. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)
A health and environmental catastrophe looms large at a small village in Kisumu where thousands of ‘pilgrims’ have been flocking to see a rock said to be bearing the images of Jesus Christ and his mother, Mary.
Locals living near the mysterious rock in Seme, in the outskirts of Kisumu town, said hundreds of people visiting the site were relieving themselves in bushes.
They said with no toilets in the busy setting about 1km from Kit-Mikayi market, they were living in fear of a possible cholera outbreak. More ‘pilgrims’ from various religious groups camping at the site had not even bathed since Friday, as there was no water in the vicinity.
Hawkers at the site made a killing selling all kinds of food, whose hygiene could not be guaranteed.
But boda boda riders wished the spectacle could last much longer. They were reaping big ferrying people from as far as Siaya, Kisumu and Bondo, making as much as Sh3,000 a day.
Locals want the county government to move swiftly and take over the site and ensure health and safety of the visitors. Some of the visitors who spoke to The Standard said they were not aware of any health risks as they prayed on a 24-hour basis.
“We have not slept because we keep on looking at the face of our saviour while praying. I feel very okay,” said Daniel Otieno from Kisumu rural.