Non-compliance: Nema closes Daima dairy firm in pollution war

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 00:00 |
Synresins Ltd chief executive Miral Shah (centre) when she was arrested yesterday. Photo/PD/Bernard Malonza

Ardent consumers of Daima milk may have to seek alternatives after Daima Dairy Factory was closed yesterday for not complying with the Water Quality Regulations of 2006.

The closure came even as the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) arrested nine top managers of three food and chemical manufacturing companies in Nairobi’s Industrial Area for discharging effluent into Nairobi River. 

Nema acting director general Mamo Boru Mamo supervised the operations that kicked of at the dairy processor, run by Sameer Agriculture and Livestock Ltd. The company’s chief operating officer Kennedy Kareithi was also arrested.

The developments come as Nema’s crackdown to end pollution of the Nairobi River entered the fourth month.

“We have put on notice all the companies discharging effluent into the river. They have to comply with the regulations. They have no option. If they discharge directly without following the Water Quality Regulations Act of 2006, we will arrest them and close down the operations of their facilities,” said the Nema official.

Off Lunga Lunga Road, at Nadume Road, Nema made more arrests in the neighbouring chemical factory, Synresins Ltd.

After conducting an inspection tour of the facility, Mamo concluded that Synresins chief executive Mira Shah, production manager Michael Mungai and the Human Resource boss Yvonne Nyokabi had a case to answer.

“What we have found out is that it (the company) is completely non-compliant in relation to treating their waste water. The company is discharging hazardous waste to the environment,” Mamo told journalists at the firm.

Absolve authority

Initially, Mungai had informed the Nema team that the company exhausts the chemicals monthly but from the records, the team found out that what they take out from the numerous drainages within the compound is domestic, and not industrial waste.

Nema Nairobi director of environment Njoki Mukiri absolved the authority from not taking action earlier, saying they have many facilities to deal with.

“These are companies we have been working with for a long time. We gave them sufficient time to comply but they are still taking advantage; discharging hazardous waste into the environment. We have no option other than to close the facilities,” she said.

Other facilities affected by yesterday’s raid include Chloride Exide, EnnsValley Bakery and Precision Plastics where scores of officials were apprehended.

Nema is eyeing more companies for closure this week. The agency hinted that London Distillers is one of those earmarked for closure. 

By yesterday afternoon, the environment watchdog had closed down operations of 53 facilities pending compliance with the Water Quality Regulations of 2006, which direct on the use and discharge of water for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes.

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