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Fierce fire at aThika factory as residents protest over pollution

Raw materials comprising plastic bags that were banned by NEMA were Friday evening reduced to ashes when they caught fire in a Thika oil and diesel manufacturing company.

However, fire brigade personnel from Kiambu county government acted swiftly and contained the fierce fire before it penetrated the main factory.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known but the factory manager Anthony Safari suspected the cause may have been overheating as a result of the ongoing hot weather experienced in the country in the last few weeks.

According to Kamenu ward MCA Raphael Chege, the factory lies on a grabbed public utility land.

Chege’s allegations were however, strongly refuted by Safari who also denied that the company was at logger heads with the surrounding community.

Chege said it was suspect how the company acquired certification by NEMA, county government and other departments to operate such a factory in a residential area.

He said he would push for its demolition maintaining that it stands on grabbed public land.

Maasai squatters chairman Ibrahim Moche claimed that the land was grabbed from the squatters who had settled in the area long time ago.

Moche said they had raised queries with the National Land Commission and were still waiting for a reply adding that the factory owners acquired it fraudulently.

Area residents complained that the factory emitted dangerous gas at night that was causing them lung illnesses caused by inhaling the toxic gas.

They want the government to intervene and transfer the factory to a far place.

By Daniel Mugo



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