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Mutua explains reopening of factory which was closed over pollution


Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua has revealed that many people, including a delegation from the National government, have reached out to him, with requests to have Endmor Steel Millers Ltd in Syokimau reopened.

This after Dr Mutua ordered the company’s closure and suspended its business licence following complaints of pollution from area residents.

“I have to admit that since it closed down, I have received numerous phone calls from everywhere in this country, you know, from colleagues, senior government officials trying to urge me to open the factory,” Mutua told Spice FM on Tuesday morning.

“I know there is a delegation from National Government to see the factory, to come and see me to have the factory reopened but I refused,” he further said.

But late last week the governor gave a directive to have the factory partially reopened.

The governor says he gave the directive for the factory’s partial reopening after going through an inspection report by a team set up to look into the matter.

According to Dr Mutua, the purpose of the provisional reopening 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.

ASSESSMENT

Dr Mutua said that there will be a community engagement of the residents to ensure that they are no longer affected by the pollution from the factory.

“To this end, I announce a meeting of the Syokimau representatives (maximum seven) to meet my officers (maximum four) and factory officers (maximum four) at the Mavoko county offices on Saturday, August 8th, 2020 to review the status of the pollution and other associated matters,” Dr Mutua said.

“We will thereafter, make a decision on the reinstating of the operating license of the factory based on the assessment of the compliance status,” he added.

An expose by Citizen TV titled “We Can’t breath” led to public uproar with the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) being blamed for the factory’s continued operation.

It is only then that the governor ordered for the factory’s closure.