UPDATE: Machakos Govern Alfred Mutua on Wednesday, July 29, announced the temporary reopening of Endmor Steel Millers in Syokimau.
"The purpose of this provisional re-opening is to practically test whether the measures they have put in place are effective in combating the pollution because some of the issues can only be ascertained when the plant is operational," he stated.
The Governor further announced that he had called for a a community engagement of the residents to ensure that they are no longer affected by pollution of the factory.
He then called for a meeting of the Syokimau representatives and factory officers at the Mavoko county offices on Saturday, August 8, 2020 to review status of the pollution and other associated matters.
The outcome of the meeting would be used to determine whether the Governor's office will re-instate of the operating license of the factory.Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua addressing a meeting on July 29, 2020.
The County Government of Machakos on Monday, July 13, revoked the licence of Endmor Steel Millers, located in Syokimau.
This follows an exposé on the plight of Syokimau residents that was aired on Citizen TV on Sunday evening, July 12.
Speaking to Kenyans,co.ke Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua revealed that the move to shut down the factory was in a bid to protect the residents from further environmental pollution.
"They will close down by this evening. There is a matter pending in Court by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and has to be concluded. All we had to do was stop them from operating. The company will only resume after it complIes," he asserted.Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua (Left) and Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi. July 13, 2020.
He cited the need to safeguard the lives of his county residents whose respiratory systems were reportedly being affected by the pollution as the reason behind the closure of the said company.
The governor further highlighted the plight of Syokimau residents who were facing the Covid-19 pandemic alongside the threat posed by the pollution.
The steel company had reportedly continued its operations despite a court case, which effectively required that they close down the plant temporarily.
Among the new directives raised by the governor was that:
- Air pollution is stopped and clean production processes are adhered to (as per set guidelines), Occupational Health and Safety Standards and protocols are put in place to the satisfaction of regulator, NEMA, and Machakos County Government.
- Air quality standards to meet the set standards of air quality set out by regulator NEMA
- Provision of adequate sanitation and handwashing facilities.
- Provision of adequate standard KN 95 masks to all workers.
- Adherence to Covid-19 public health rules of social distancing, use of face masks (KN 95), hand washing and daily recording of temperatures for all workers and visitors.
Syokimau residents were embroiled in a protracted battle with the steel factory, with residents complaining of industrial pollution: from noise, water to air.
Endmor Steel Millers is located just after the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) along Mombasa Highway.Endmor Steel Millers in Syokimau.File
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