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NEMA shuts Agro-Chemicals Company over pollution

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has closed down Agro-Chemicals and Food Company in Kisumu.

The company has been accused of discharging raw industrial waste into River Nyando and ignoring several restoration orders issued by NEMA.

NEMA Director General Mamo Boru Mamo on Thursday issued the notice of closure to the factory and directed the management to fix the industrial waste management system within seven days.

Mamo said the latest analysis conducted by NEMA revealed that the chemical oxygen demand (COD) in water discharged from the factory was at 104, 000 way above the recommended 50. “The COD level is very high and no microorganism can survive in such an environment,” he said.

Mamo said if the company failed to fix the system in seven days, the matter would be taken to court.

The development comes as ruling on a case filled by two residents to have the factory closed down over pollution concerns is awaited.

The petitioners Patrick Odundo and Maxwell Otieno want the company stopped from any further discharge of its industrial waste into Nyando River. The two want the operations of the company suspended at its main plant in Muhoroni pending the hearing and determination of the petition.

The petitioners say there is a deliberate and incremental discharge of toxic waste into the Nyando River basin with adverse consequences to the health of all residents downstream.

They claimed farming, fishing, livestock keeping, laundry, domestic and other related economic activities derivative of the river waters have been disrupted.

Kisumu Environment and Lands Court Judge Anthony Ombwayo is expected to rule on the matter today.

By Chris Mahandara

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