NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – At least 25 factories have been closed down by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for discharging effluent into Nairobi River.
National Environment Management Authority Chairman John Konchellah said the firms had been served with closure notices, but defied them hence they had to close them down for not meeting NEMA standards.
“The industries have been discharging untreated waste and water into our environment. Some of these companies have been operating without a pre-treatment system which is hazardous to our rivers,” he said.
He was speaking when a team from NEMA and Nairobi County Environment Department met at Nairobi River in Korogocho, where cleaning of the river is taking place.
NEMA Director General Geoffery Wakhungu said they would work closely with the Nairobi County Government to ensure companies involved are compliant.
“We cannot accept Nairobi River to be flowing with coloured water, we need the glory of the river restored,” he said.
Nairobi Governor Sonko said he supported the closure of those companies, saying that illegal discharging of effluent has polluted the Nairobi River to alarming levels.
“Can you imagine some hospitals conduct abortions and dump the babies at the Nairobi River? Some companies discharge effluent to the river… we will not accept this and we will work together with the National Government to ensure non-compliant companies are completely closed down,” said Sonko.
The clean-up of the Nairobi River has been ongoing on spearheaded by the Nairobi County Ngarisha Jiji team.
Since they began cleaning the river, the team has been collecting foetuses thrown into the river and also bodies of adults.
For instance, the team that was cleaning at Korogocho showed us where they had buried four infants who they removed from the river as they were cleaning.
A body of a middle-aged man was also retrieved at Nairobi River along Kware Ward on Saturday.
They also decried how they were encountering needles and other sharp objects as they carry on with the exercise.
The governor has however provided the team with protective gear including gloves, gumboots, headgear and aprons.
Nairobi County Environment Executive Vesca Kangongo also said that those carrying out the clean-up would receive Hepatitis B vaccines to protect them from contracting diseases.
“Moving forward we will put enforcement officers in strategic places along the river to monitor and deal with illegal dumpers especially private garbage collectors who have made this river their dumping sites,” said Kangongo.