By African Times Special Correspondent
London Distillers Kenya(LDK) Company has written to the Export Processing Zone Authority(EPZA)saying that their effluent is molasses and not toxic.
LDK has requested EPZA to grant them 30 days to repair their blocked manholes, repair the vandalized pipes and start the factory operations.
“We will invite your technical team to come over and grant us more advice as they collect samples for further analysis,” added P.S Mann, General Manager Administration.
EPZA in response to LDK’s letter has said that the company’s license to discharge any effluent to their sewer line shall remain suspended until all experts shall be satisfied that the effluent emitted from their factory meets the required international standards.
“All the experts should be satisfied that the effluent emitted from your factory meets the international acceptable environmental standards for effluent treatment and discharge into any public facility including our facility,” said Chief Executive Officer(CEO) EPZA, George Makateto.
In a letter dated September 25, 2019, LDK said they have put up a treatment plant at the factory to cater for the treatment of their effluent before discharging it to EPZA sewer line.
“Our effluent is basically molasses waste of which we believe is not toxic,” said Mann.
They said they have since closed down their operations at the plant because they cannot operate without a sewer line being in operation.
EPZA has since suspended LDK’s permit to discharge its effluent into public sewer, saying that tests result from various reputable laboratories indicates that LDK is discharging hazardous effluents to human beings, environment and organisms.
Makateto said that they have enough evidence indicating that the effluent being discharged from LDK’s distillery to the public sewer line owned by the Authority is hazardous.
“We as an organization do not support any act that will result in pollution and endangering the lives of both human beings, environment and organisms by allowing you to continue discharging such waste into the EZPA sewer line,” added Makateto.
Makateto added that that they have suspended LDK’s permit to continue discharging their effluent at their sewer line to protect the lives of human beings and organisms.
“Please be informed that it is your duty as a non EPZA industry to treat your effluent before discharging it into our facility,” added Makateto.
He added that any new application LDK’S make for reconnection will only be considered after it fully complies with the acceptable industrial international standards for effluent treatment and the application shall be placed before EPZA board of directors for approval.
EPZA wrote a letter dated September 20,2019 directed to LDK company.
Mavoko Water and Sewerage Company (Mavwasco) has also protested against its workers’ harassment by London Distillers Kenya Limited employees in Athi River, Machakos County.
The firm’s managing director Michael Mang’eli claimed that some of his casual workers were attacked by LDK staff while on duty few meters from the distiller’s main plant on Monday.
Mang’eli said one of the workers was unlawfully arrested by the attackers and handed over to inspectorate officers from Machakos county government.
“We have since received information that some of our casual workers were being harassed by LDK employees.
We followed up and one of them who had been handcuffed and detained at Mavoko sub county offices was released,” Mang’eli said.