Fourteen people were on Friday arrested in Donholm, Nairobi, for polluting the air by burning old tyres.
The suspects were arrested at Donholm interchange in an operation conducted by Nairobi County government officials and National Environmental Management Authority (Nema).
This follows complaints from area residents over the constant discharge of toxic gases at night.
Nairobi County acting Environment director Lawrence Mwangi said that the suspects burn the old tyres to extract wire which they sell to steel companies.
“We have received numerous complaints from Buruburu and Donholm residents over air pollution at night. We have arrested 14 people to be charged with various counts including burning harmful substances in open air and operating illegal business,” said Mr Mwangi.
National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) Nairobi County director Njoki Mukiri said that the operation seeks to curb air pollution in the area.
She pointed out that Nema has been receiving complaints from residents in the larger Eastlands area over the matter.
She said the most affected areas are Kamukunji, Likoni and Lunga Lunga.
“What has been happening here is harmful to the health of people because some of the tyres are made of hazardous chemicals. It affects people as far as Buruburu and the whole of Eastlands area,” said Ms Mukiri.
The official said that Nema recently gazetted air quality regulations which prohibits open burning of tyres.
“Whatever is happening is illegal and we shall not allow it to continue because these gases are harmful to our health,” she said.
The suspects, who have been locked up at a cell in City Hall, will be arraigned on Monday.