The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) on Friday shut down a slaughterhouse in Kendu Bay, Homa Bay County after it was found to be discharging its waste directly into Lake Victoria.
Nema officials, in collaboration with police officers, also arrested the proprietor of the abattoir, who was identified as Mr George Osano, for allowing direct dis-charge of waste into the lake and running his business without an effluent dis-charge license from the authority.
The slaughterhouse, located in Kendu Bay old town was found to be flouting the Water Quality Regulations of 2006.
It had a trench dug to direct animal waste and dirty water into the lake.
It was also operating without any valid documents from Nema.
Homa Bay County Nema Director John Maniafu said the slaughterhouse was discharging untreated effluent directly into the lake which is a threat to marine life and local ecology.
“The lake is used by different people as a means of earning their livelihood including fishing. Effluent from the slaughterhouse discharged directly into the lake affects fish population, thereby affecting other people’s economic activities,” he said.
Nema is currently cracking down on uncontrolled effluent discharge.
The authority targets facilities that dispose their waste into lakes, rivers and in the soil.
“Facilities discharging their waste into the environment are required under the law to take samples of their waste for analysis in approved laboratories for tests before they are given the green light to discharge the waste. The slaughterhouse violated all the requirements and that is why it was shut down,” the officer said.
Facilities that are supposed to apply for the license after analysis of effluent discharge include factories, hotels, petrol stations and others that have septic tanks.
Mr Maniafu said waste analysis helps in ensuring that what is released to the environment is not harmful to humans, animals and plants.
“There is a set standard on what should be released to the environment. What is harmful to biological organisms should not be let out,” the environmental officer added.
A total of 16 people have been arrested in Homa Bay for violating various environmental regulations including using banned plastic carrier bags.
Mr Maniafu said Nema is educating Kenyans on environmental compliance and effects of pollution.