Residents of Homa bay town and its environs are experiencing acute shortage of meat for the past three days after the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) shut down their slaughter house over alleged pollution of the environment.
Last Tuesday, NEMA ordered the immediate closure of the slaughter house, being managed by the county department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries after their assessments of the facility revealed poor waste management of the plant and disposal of the rumen waste, leading to foul smell that emanated around the slaughter house.
The authority also found the premises flouting the waste management regulations and water quality regulations.
A spot check conducted by KNA in Homa Bay Town established that 18 butcheries in the town have closed down due to the shortage of meat in the region.
According to Homa Bay Giant Traders Association Chairman Geoffrey Onduso, the butchery operators were forced to close their premises since they can no longer find a place in town to slaughter animals to assist in the supply of meat after the main slaughter house was shut down.
Onduso lamented that butchery operators cannot afford to ferry animals from Homa Bay to a slaughter house in Rodi Kopany which is the only nearest slaughter house in the region due to high cost of transport.
He appealed to the county department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to intervene and ensure that they complied with NEMA regulations to allow the slaughter house is reopened.
Similar sentiments were also echoed by the traders Secretary General Simon Kwach who argued that the shutdown of the slaughter house is a setback to business community in Homa Bay Town, saying the County Government should move with speed to rescue the butcher operators.
When contacted for comments, the County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Aguko Juma said that they have sent a team of experts who are currently working at the slaughter house to ensure it meets the required standards.
Juma said that the slaughter house will be reopened on Monday next week to allow meat sellers to continue with their daily activities.
By Naomi Wandede and Davis Langat