Kisumu firms raided over Lake Victoria pollution
The national environmental watchdog is reviewing reports on pollution claims by Kibos Sugar, Muhoroni Agrochemical and two prisons, the agency has said .
National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) director general Geoffrey Wakhungu said the authority had received a report on the claims.
Although Wakhungu declined to address the media on their findings during the visit in which media was barred, he said they had received a report.
In a curt address at Kodiaga Prison, Wakhungu said they had visited the two industries on Wednesday. Both are facing a series of legal battles mounted by residents over claims of pollution.
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The visit by NEMA’s top officials and inspectors came a week after Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko warned of stern actions against entities polluting rivers, which drain into Lake Victoria.
He ordered the environmental watchdog to immediately deal with polluters, saying pollution was to blame for the invasion of the lake by hyacinth and hippo grass.
“The law will be applied and we will shut down those entities that are discharging effluents into the rivers and threatening the livelihood of people,” Tobiko stated.
Tobiko’s stern statement came amidst growing public outcry that some of the entities and industries in Kisumu were pumping into the streams raw effluent and sewerage, threatening lives of thousands depending on the water for domestic use and contributing to proliferation of water hyacinth on the lake.
He said regardless of the economic impact investments had, those threatening the environment and those risking the health of residents would be shut down without further notice.
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Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said River Kibos and Kisat used by Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company to empty treated effluent were the most polluted in the county. “My administration has also mounted a hunt down on polluters. We had listed them and we are watching them with a lot of keenness,” he said.
“Those claiming to be untouchables their time is up for they must be stopped immediately,” said Nyong’o.
The water hyacinth in Lake Victoria spread to 1,441 more hectares within four days, according to satellite images released by a State agency last week.
The images by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) showed the area covered by the weed increased from 6,142 hectares on February 11 to 7,583 hectares on February 15.