Kinangop Dairy Limited has been for the past 10 years been releasing raw and untreated industrial sewerage into Kinja River, the second biggest feeder of Lake Naivasha after Malewa River.
The dairy products processor has according to a source been exposing people living downstream and those who depend on the river for domestic use to unprecedented hazards.
Kinangop Dairy has apparently been operating without a sewerage treatment plant.
“The fish you eat from Lake Naivasha is contaminated with industrial waste from this plant. This Dairy plant has been operating without a sewerage treatment plant,” the source said.
Our source further intimated that the management of the factory could have bribed National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA) officials for the operational licences.
Last week NEMA shut down 2 plants at Kibos Sugar Company in Kisumu for disposing toxic chemicals into River Kibos which drains into Lake Victoria.
Muhoroni MP Onyango K’Oyoo had prior to the closure threatened to mobilize constituents to take action against the miller should NEMA and Environment CS Keriako Tobiko fail to take control of the matter.
“If Kibos Sugar wants to continue with its operations in the area it must adhere to the environmental requirements because if it cannot, then they will have to leave the area,” he said.
“You either shape up or ship out. It is the company to move out if they cannot work within the laws to protect the well-being of locals,” he continued, adding that the company has three months to put in place pollution mitigation measures.
Kisumu County Environment executive Salmon Orimba noted that the miller has definitely been releasing effluent into the river, creating a fertile ground for water hyacinth in Lake Victoria.
“We have gone to their premises on a number of occasions and have found out that inadequately treated effluent is finding its way into River Kibos, which is causing devastating effects down stream,” Mr Orimba is quoted by the Nation.
In November last year, the Environment and Land Court judge Stephen Kibunja ordered the temporary shutdown of the factory.
Kibos Sugar chairman Raju Chanan would later acknowledge the “accidental” spillage of raw effluent into the water source and the matter later settled out of court.
“The release of toxic chemicals has affected institutions like Kibos Primary School, Kibos Prison and Kibos School for the Blind which rely on the water for different uses,” said George Otieno who neighbours the miller.