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Know what you eat! Mercury, lead found in sukuma wiki



Before you have your next meal, you may need to ask where the vegetables you have with it are from.

Chances are you got them from your nearest supermarket or from your favourite ‘Mama Mboga’, but do you know you could be exposing yourself to heavy metals that are harmful to your health?

An investigation by the Star has found that you are better off buying sukuma wiki (kales) from your local market than at a supermarket, following intensive testing of samples from various food markets in the city, as well as two major supermarkets.

The one kilogramme kale samples were collected from Gikomba, Marikiti, Korogocho market in Kariobangi, Kangemi and Githurai markets, as well as from Naivas supermarket in Westlands, and Nakumatt supermarket in Lavington.

They were subjected to lab analyses at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and at a private laboratory, Analab Limited.

The tests were done in two different labs for verification purposes and also to determine a trend in the level of metals in sukuma wiki in Nairobi markets.

The tests conducted were to determine the presence (and levels) of lead, mercury, iron, copper and cadmium in kales from Nairobi main markets and supermarkets.

The lab analyses done at Kephis indicate that the kales bought from the two local supermarkets contained 0.13mg per kilo and 0.15mg per kilo of mercury respectively.

This is higher than the recommended World Health Organisation limits of 0.1mg per kilo. The samples from the markets had 0.007mg per kilo and a maximum of 0.1 mg per kilo, which were within WHO acceptable limits.

The level of mercury found in kales from Kariobangi market, however, was also higher at 0.11mg per kilo.

Samples from Kangemi, Gikomba, Githurai and Marikiti markets were within limits at 0.06, 0.07, 0.05 and 0.05mg per kilo respectively.

Tests carried out at Analab showed that the samples had mercury levels of 0.01mg per kilo, which is within the stipulated WHO limits. However, there were significant levels of lead in the kales from most markets in Nairobi.

Kales from Kangemi market in Westlands had a level of 0.20mg per kilo of kales, while Korogocho market in Kariobangi had 0.17mg per kilo. Githurai market had 0.08mg per kilo, and kales from Gikomba market had the highest levels of lead at 0.23mg per kilo.

However, Wakulima/Marikiti markets in the Central Business District showed significantly lower levels of lead in comparison to the rest, at 0.01mg per kilo.

While total mercury levels in animals and plants are usually very low, repeated exposure through consumption of contaminated foods can be dangerous, as methylmercury is toxic to the nervous system, kidney, liver and reproductive organs.

According to WHO’s fact sheet posted on its website in March 2017, mercury is a major threat to public health because even exposure to smaller amounts poses a threat to human development, especially of children in early stages of life.

Mercury may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes, severely impacting these functions and compromising the health of anyone exposed to significant amounts of it over time.

In August 2017, the Minamata Convention on Mercury came into force, committing its 74 Parties to reducing the risks to human health and the environment from the harmful release of mercury and mercury compounds.

Kenya became a party to the convention on October 10, 2013, and is now legally bound to ban new mercury mines, regulate the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining, manufacturing processes, and the production of everyday items such as cosmetics, light bulbs, batteries and teeth fillings.

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He is a very dangerous man! Sonko’s daughter accuses senator of attempting to kill her



Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip and Saumu Mbuvi, daughter of former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, have announced their separation following wrangles and disagreement.

The reports were fuelled by photos and videos of Senator Loitiptip hanging out with a female friend.

Saumu, on Instagram, announced that the two have separated, claiming that she has undergone domestic violence under Loitiptip.

“These are the things he did to me,” wrote Saumu, in one of her photos showing a swollen face and bruised lips.

“He almost killed me. I will forever fight for women to stand for their rights. Never allow a man to be violent to you.”

She also claimed that the senator had neglected their child, leaving Saumu as the primary caregiver.

Loitiptip told that Saumu shared her father’s traits and was suffering from bipolar disorder, threatening to expose her past to prove his claim.

The two have been dating for months and at one point planned to get married. However, Sonko’s daughter clarified that the two had split before officiating their union.

“Wedding date confirmed,” she captioned a picture of herself and the senator in June 2020.

Her previous relationship with businessman cum politician Ben Gatu also ended after she accused him of being violent.

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US raises alarm over Covid-19 cases surge in Tanzania



The US government has revealed that there are significant cases of Covid-19 in Tanzania.

This is just a week after it advised its citizens against travelling to the East African country.

“The US Embassy is aware of a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases since January 2021,” the Embassy said.

In a Health alert, the US said the practice of Covid-19 mitigation and prevention measures remains limited.

The Tanzanian government has not released aggregate numbers on Covid-19 cases or deaths since April 2020.

“Healthcare facilities in Tanzania can become quickly overwhelmed in a healthcare crisis. Limited hospital capacity throughout Tanzania could result in life-threatening delays for emergency medical care,” US said.

The Department of State’s travel advisory level for Tanzania is Level 3.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that travellers should avoid all travel to Tanzania.

The Embassy continues to recommend that all individuals take caution in day-to-day activities.

President John Magufuli assured the 58 million inhabitants that they need not worry about observing Covid-19 preventative measures.

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Siwachii wezi! Uhuru vows not to leave the country to thieves in 2022



President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday made a surprising stop to lecture Nairobi residents after finishing his engagement at the National Cargo Deconsolidation Centre (NCDC-Nairobi).

The Head of State said he was angry at Nairobians for being against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill stating that the report has given Nairobi more constituencies.

“If we have a BBI that says the people of Nairobi will have more constituencies and if it’s bursaries a child in Mathare who today receives Ksh500, how will that child study up to university level,” President Kenyatta said.

“But there is another child who gets Ksh100,000 in Busury per year is that right?… BBI is not for helping Raila or Uhuru it is for you,” he continued.

Uhuru went on to disclose that he has no plans to rule after his term is over and his interest is in finishing the job that Kenyans elected him to do.

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