NAIROBI, August 13 – The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on Wednesday closed down six slaughter houses in Nairobi’s Dagoreti area after a three-month notice issued to improve their waste management facilities lapsed.
NEMA Director General Muusya Mwinzi ordered the closure of the abattoirs after a tour that revealed they had not built or expanded their effluent treatment facilities to ensure proper management of waste.
Mwinzi said: "We checked the general cleanliness and health environment within the facilities. The standards are poor. The law will now take its course and shut them down."
One of slaughter houses closed is the Dagoreti abattoir, the largest private meat supplying facility in Nairobi.
Also closed are Nyongara, Mumu, Thiani and Nyonjoro slaughter houses.
Combined, the abattoirs slaughter over 300 animals per day.
Mwinzi said they continuously polluted the environment by dumping their waste into the Nairobi River.
He said they were to immediately stop non-compliant discharge of effluent into the environment before they were allowed to re-open.
They would also be required to restore and rehabilitate any degraded environment due to previous discharges or waste management.
The slaughter houses were also directed to apply for an Effluent Discharge and relevant waste management licence.
The closure is likely to lead to a shortage of beef products in the City. The only other beef abattoirs’ are in Ruai and Kenya Meat Commission’s complex in Athi River.
Mwinzi stated that NEMA would extend inspections to other slaughter houses around the country.
"We will go to the Kenya Meat Commission and we will close them down if we find they are polluting the environment," the NEMA Director said.
Earlier workers at the various slaughter houses had appealed to NEMA to give them more time to carry out their directives.
They said the three months given was not enough to carry out all the changes required.
"We don’t have the funds to undertake the improvements but we have tried to do some substantial improvements," said the Director of Mumu slaughter house.
The workers also lamented the close of the abattoirs would lead to the loss of close to 5,000 jobs.