In Summary
  • The senators’ fact-finding mission to the village was prompted by a petition tabled in the House by Nominated Senator Emma Mbura on behalf of the residents.
  • Changamwe Public Health officer John Ndungu said investigations on suspected toxic discharge from the plant started in 2009.

A Senate Committee took environment officials to task over the status of a factory that is suspected to be behind lead poisoning in a village in Mombasa.

Members of the Senate committee of health said there were clear indications the factory was still in operation.

This, despite assurances from Nema (the National Environmental Management Agency) officials in Mombasa County that the factory was shut last year following fears over the health risks it posed to locals.

Migori Senator Wilfred Machage said their tour of the facility and enquiries from residents of Owino Uhuru village neighbours indicated there were activities going on in the factory.

“Even the padlock at the godown entrance is still shiny and has no rust. It would have been rusty if indeed this place has been shut down,” said Dr Machage.

Committee chairperson Zipporah Kittony said all Kenyans had a right to better healthcare.

“We need environment and health officials to take responsibility and serve the people, “she said.

Earlier, Mombasa County Nema director Wachira Bore had told the senators that a closure directive was issued last October after the plant failed to adhere to environmental regulations and kept discharging toxic waste.

“We have kept monitoring the factory even at night. As far as we are concerned the facility is closed,” Mr Bore said.

PETITION

The senators’ fact-finding mission to the village was prompted by a petition tabled in the House by Nominated Senator Emma Mbura on behalf of the residents.

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