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Pollution: Nema withdraws Agro-Chemicals licence

Monday December 09 2019
AGRO

Agro-Chemicals and Food Company in Muhoroni, Kisumu County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RUSHDIE OUDIA

National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has withdrawn the effluent discharge licence of Kisumu-based Agro-Chemicals and Food Company over non-compliance.

The company has been accused of releasing raw industrial waste into River Nyando.

Nema Acting Director-General Mamo Boru Mamo instructed his officers to draft withdrawal of the licence following the company’s persistent violation of the environmental laws.

He said the continued pollution of river Nyando was making its water unfit for domestic use.

IGNORED ORDERS

“Agro-Chemicals have not been taking matters seriously, we have been issuing restoration orders which they have ignored,” said Mr Mamo on Monday.

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He also gave Maseno University seven days to comply with restoration orders stopping them from discharging raw sewer into nearby rivers.

The institution has also been ordered to construct effluent treatment plant failure to which the institution will be shut down.

The agency also ordered Kisumu Maximum Prison Kodiaga to stop emitting raw sewage into River Saka.

MASENO

A pipe discharges raw effluent from Maseno University into a river on December 9, 2019. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Effluent from Kodiaga Prison’s sewer line   has been flowing to the neighbouring villages during rainy seasons.

In July 2017, at least 34 inmates from the facility contracted cholera. In 2009, 30 inmates at the prison died of cholera.

OVERBURDENED

The prison facility uses an old sewer system that was put up in 1950s.

Initially, it was designed to serve maximum security inmates, prison staff and their families. Currently, the population has soared creating challenges according to Nyanza Prisons Regional Commander Mr Nicholas Emase.

“The sewage system has since then been overburdened with additional Kisumu Medium Prison and Kisumu Women Prisons. The funds which were set to complete the works are yet to reach us, but we will comply,” said Mr Emase.

By March this year, the prison had 3,000 inmates and remandees. They were to upgrade the pipes, construct inlet and outlet concrete chambers.

KODIAGA

Nema officials and Kenya Prison Service officers inspect a section of a river at Otonglo, Kisumu County, where Kodiaga Prison discharges raw effluent on December 9, 2019. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The National government had set aside Sh30 million for the repair the old sewer system. The Nema boss also warned Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company to put its systems in order and stop the overflow of raw sewage into Lake Victoria.

Mr Mamo expressed concern on the level of pollution of Lake Victoria.  

“The private sector has complied, we are having a problem with most government agencies, when a lake like this is polluted, we are not safe as a country,” said Mr Mamo.

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