Steel Manufacturing Firm on the spot for Environmental Pollution

An audit commissioned following complaints by residents found that the company was discharging hazardous iron fillings onto private land surrounding it.

Steel Manufacturing Firm on the spot for Environmental Pollution

An Environmental audit (EA) commissioned by professionals from Soin/Sigowet constituency, Kericho county has returned a harsh verdict on a steel company located in the area. The audit was commissioned following residents' complaints against a steel and cement manufacturing company in the area found that the company was discharging refuse onto private land surrounding it and hazardous iron fillings.

"The iron filings proved hazardous particularly to air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, human life and other interrelationship," reads the report signed by Dr. Chememcho Kipkiror an Environmental auditor. "The refuse through three main outlets needs to be tested in chemical laboratory since it could be lethal to the animal, plant and human life," the report read.  It further stated that there was evidence of air and water pollution as well as poor disposal of solid and hazardous waste.  Dr.  Kipkiror's report indicated that the dust particles being emitted from the cement manufacturing company need to be regulated to avoid air pollution. 

"The factory from prima facie facts, does not or has not implemented environmental management and compliance standards," the report reads. In the recommendations, Dr. Kipkiror stated that the steel and cement manufacturing companies ought to implement ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards on Environmental Management and occupational health and Safety.  "The factories ought to implement the requirement of environmental management and coordination Act, 2007 and OS&H Act, 2007 on standards of setting up and management of factories as per constitution of Kenya 2010," he said.  Dr.  Kipkiror, also stated that the factories ought to carry out their performance compliance through internal and external post EIA audits.  

"The steel manufacturing company ought to add sodium chloride to the effluence to break up the emulsion. It ought to add calcium hydroxide for saponification of the grease and oil," he said. Last week, Julius Mwei, whose farm borders the steel company said he had lost five cows due to the iron fillings on the grass. "At first I thought my cows were suffering from common cattle diseases and called the veterinary doctor who gave the cattle an injection but it was all in vain," said Mwei. Dr.  Naaman Rop, from Kipsitet area said though they welcome investors to the area, the government must ensure that the companies meet the country standard stipulated in the law as well as international standards.  Celina Korir, said her children are often diagnosed with typhoid due to drinking contaminated water.  "My children are constantly falling sick and I have been forced to spend a lot of money going in and out of hospitals seeking treatment," she said.  Josephat Ruto, the Soin ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) said the environment and labor Committee members were set to tour the factories.  

"We are going to visit the company to convince the management to implement the recommendations contained in the environment impact assessment report," he said.

Source: Standard Digital

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