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NEMA arrests 10 operators for lack of effluent discharge licenses

National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) officials Tuesday raided hotels, resorts, tertiary colleges and petrol station in Kabarnet town and its surroundings where they arrested 10 operators for operating without effluent discharges licenses.

In the crackdown led by county NEMA director Josiah Nyandori backed by a contingent of security officers, the officials apprehended the managers of the affected premises for failing to comply with the water quality regulation in getting the effluent discharge licenses.

Mr Nyandori said the management of the affected facilities deliberately ignored the laid down requirement despite being aware of the stipulated regulations.

The Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) section 75(1) state that no person shall release effluent to the environment unless they have a valid effluent discharge license or in default serve up to 4 years in jail or Sh 4 million in fine or both.
Mr Nyandori said that when the water quality regulation became operational in 2006 proprietors and owners of accommodation facilities were sensitised and taught extensively on what the act entails and given six months grace period before its operationalisation.

According to the act the effluent discharge license comes at a fee depending on the bed
capacity of the facility such that a 25 bed capacity accommodation facilities or less pays
an application fee of Sh. 5000 and a license fee of Sh 25,000.

The director noted with concern that some unscrupulous businessmen were releasing raw effluent directly to the environment citing a local petrol station which was operating without an oil water interceptor and a big restaurant still using polythene papers more than 18 months after they were banned.

“When we went around we found people who release the effluent right into the environment without an oil interceptor and a hotel still using polythene papers,” said Nyandori.

Mr Nyandori who said the crackdown will be extended to other towns and warned that no amount of intimidation and impunity will deter them from carrying out water quality regulation inspections to ensure that institutions and business enterprises in the county strictly complied with the process of getting an effluent discharge license.

The crackdown will be extended to Marigat, Kabartonjo, Eldama Ravine and Chemolingot urban centres.

By Dennis Wangila/Felix Kipruto/Joshua Kibet

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