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NEMA, Water Authority accuse Nairobi Sewerage Company of polluting Nairobi River

Speaking during a press conference, NEMA’s Acting Director General Mamo Mamo (pictured) said the action will take stern action against those emitting effluence in the Nairobi River/CFM – SAM WANJOHI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and Water Resources Authority (WRA) have accused Nairobi City Sewerage and Water Company (NCSWC) and Export Processing Zone (EPZ) of polluting Nairobi River.

Speaking during a press conference, NEMA Acting Director-General Mamo Mamo said the authority will take stern action against those emitting effluence in the Nairobi River.

“Article 42 of our constitution gives us a right to live in a clean and secure environment, but these rights come with responsibility.  It is the duty of all of us to enhance the quality of our environment by avoiding the dumping or discharging wastes in our rivers. The problem with Kenyans is that we like the “throw away culture.” We are the waste generators and we expect someone else to collect it for us,” said Mamo.

WRA Chairperson Joe Mutambu said they will be seeking the arrests of the CEOs and MDs of the companies which are adversely mentioned as having emitted  their wastes in the rivers.

“If an institution is charged with the responsibility of collecting garbage and instead, they are dumping them in the rivers then we will go for the executive. This time round there will be no friendships, we will go for the so-called big fish. The CEO of Nairobi water do your job because if you do not do it, then you will do it in Kamiti Maximum Prison for killing Kenyans,” Mutambu warned.

Earlier on Monday morning, the Environment Multi Agency team had gone to Nairobi Sewerage and Water Company to arrest the Managing Director who they said is expected to be charged with discharging effluent into the Nairobi River against Water Quality Regulation Act (2006).

Mamo said the MD was not in his office and suspected that someone had tipped him off about his impending arrest allowing him to disappear.

“We were ready to arrest him, but I think someone tipped him off and he ran away a minute before our arrival. We have however summoned him to surrender,” said Mamo.

NEMA board Chairperson John Konchala revealed that since a 100-day Rapid Results Initiative meant to address the issues of illegal effluent discharge into the environment was established, 30 arrests have been made, 48 facilities closed, and 37 restoration orders issued to different companies.

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Nairobi River has hit headlines for all the wrong reasons, wherever it passes it leaves terrible stench in the air as a result of pollution.

Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui recently warned that tens of industries risked being shut down, saying some 4,404 pollutants had been discovered in the river.

Over a dozen of dead bodies have also been recovered in clean up exercises organized by City Hall.

Recently, the body of an eight-year-old boy was retrieved from the river during a clean-up exercise, bringing the total number of bodies recovered to 14, since the exercise began.

The latest discovery came even as Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko called for a probe by the police to establish circumstances under which bodies recovered from the river were dumped.

Kenya has drained billions of taxpayers and donor funds in attempts to clean the river but such efforts remain with no tangible results.

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