August 19, 2022

4,500 workers at the Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries Ltd in Kisumu were rendered jobless following a clampdown carried out by the National Environment Management  Authority (Nema).

The March 6 crackdown by the government officials resulted in the factory being shut over alleged environmental pollution.

After it was revealed that the factory would remain closed indefinitely, Managing Director – Sukwinder Raju announced that they had no other choice but to dismiss its employees.

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Kibos Sugar company’s waster water recycling section.

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“We make between Ksh 400 to 500 million in a month. If the factories are closed, it means we will have no money to pay the worker. They will go home,

“We can’t keep the workers now and accumulate monthly wage bill which we will not pay, thus attracting serious industrial litigation,” the MD revealed to the Standard.

However, on their part, Nema maintained that violation of air quality regulations was a serious offence.

The environment conservation body’s acting director General Mamo Boru, claimed that the factory was passing untreated effluent into River Kibos.

He disclosed that he had to put an end to the alleged act as the river was the bloodline for thousands of communities downstream.

This is the second time in a week that Nema has forced the closure of a major establishment.

On March 5, over 200 quarries employing an estimated 30,000 people were closed after they were found to not adhere to the required safety measures.

Kajiado County Executive Committee member for Water and Environment Michael Semera, indicated that the decision on closure was arrived at following an audit on the sites in collaboration with the environmental authority.

The audit was undertaken following numerous complaints by residents, who cited pollution from the quarries.

“During the audit, we discovered most quarries do not have any plan to refill the ground after mining building materials.

Semera noted that it was the role of the county government to provide a conducive environment to investors as well as protect her people in the process.

The county has a high number of quarries employing thousands of people and providing construction material for the larger Nairobi metropolitan area.

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A miner at a Marble mine in Kajiado County on March 7, 2018.

A miner at a Marble mine in Kajiado County on March 7, 2018.

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