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Condemned food from Mukumu girls incinerated by Bamburi Cement

Over 73 tons of cereals found to be contaminated at Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School have now been incinerated by Bamburi Cement Factory after three students and one teacher succumbed after consuming of the food.

Through the analysis of the National Public Health laboratory, the food was found unfit for consumption and was seized by the health department.

A total of 444 sacks of maize, 265 of Beans and 86 of Rice were received at the Cement plant in Mombasa from Kakamega County for the incineration of the cereals in compliance with procedures of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

Addressing the Media at the Bamburi Cement Factory, NEMA’s Kakamega County Director of Environment, John Maniafu said that incineration was the best method to get rid of the contaminated food according to the Waste Management Regulations 2006 under the Environment Management and coordination Act compared to burning them in an open public space as the parents and stakeholders of Mukumu girls had suggested.

Maniafu said that they specifically came to Bamburi Cement because there is low capacity of incinerators within the western region.

He said that they first checked with KEMRI incinerator, Kisumu, which incinerates 100kg per hour and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital which incinerates 150kg per hour and this would take longer to incinerate the condemned food compared to Bamburi Cement Kiln which incinerates 1.5 tons per hour.

“Bamburi Cement offered to do this process free of charge as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),” Maniafu said.

“There has been good will from the Regional Police Commander on the transport sector, we would have spent 360,000 to transport this material here but it was given on good will by one of the major transporters who had his tracks moving from Malaba to Kakamega then transporting the material here at his cost including fuel,” Maniafu added.

He emphasized that there are no financial gains attached to this process because even the Governor of Kakamega County made a donation of 500,000 to aid the process and other logistics.

The taskforce allocated to this process fully represented parents, teachers, Regional Director of Education and Security.

Franklin Ongori who was representing the Western Region, Regional Commissioner, Irungu Macharia said that the task force has done a very commendable job.

He disclosed that the School store was found to be contaminated but he assured the parents that the government has made sure that the food has been destroyed in accordance with the law.

The Deputy Principal Mukumu Girls, Fredrick Odera said that so far there are less than 20 students who are going through medication from the consumption of the contaminated food.

He expressed his gratitude to Bamburi Cement’ s Management for accepting to help the school to get rid of the contaminated food through incineration as per the law.

“We also want to appreciate the multi-agency team for coordinating this activity because we are opening school very soon and we needed this food out so we can get a new stock of certified food in the school before the students resume school,” Odera said.

He went on to reassure that the school has discontinued all previous food suppliers and that they have brought on board the Public Health to inspect all food coming into the school and have them certified through testing in their laboratory.

“We have also worked on our water system, with the good will of the Water Ministry, we now have a new borehole and through a well-wisher we now have a water purification plant in the school worth 6 million,” Odera added.

On behalf of Bamburi Cement, Environment Manager Otione Arowo confirmed that the Cement Factory is conducting the activity free of charge.

By Fatma Said

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