City Hall now calls for closure of unlicensed slaughterhouses in Kiamaiko
City Hall now wants immediate closure of 15 slaughter houses operating at Kiamaiko until proper sanitation standards are met, even after six people were arrested in connection to the saga.
This comes after officers from the county government on Monday visited the area where they found the slaughterhouses to have been operating without valid abattoir licenses, putting into doubt the safety of meat from the slaughterhouses.
The joint team – consisting of departments of Environment, Health, Agriculture, Water and Planning together with Members of the County Assembly of the respective committees – discovered that besides the 15 abattoirs, there were 14 illegal slaughterhouses operating in the area.
Nairobi County Health Executive Mohammed Dagane said the illegal slaughterhouses were located in residential houses with meat stored in buckets and beside them an unidentified colored liquid suspected to be used as a preservative for the meat.
He said that six people were arrested in the process and taken to court where they were charged for violating provisions of Public Health Act.
Mr Dagane observed that it was very strange that in the illegal abattoirs there were neither flies nor the smell of meat, pointing to use of a preservative that could be a health risk.
On her part, City Hall Agriculture executive Pauline Kahiga said the popular goat slaughterhouse has been operating a license for three weeks now after the county decided against renewing its license for failing to meet sanitation standards.
“The slaughterhouse has already identified a place in Ruai where it will be relocating but in the meantime there are some renovations going on. However, as a remedial action, we did not renew their licenses,” said Ms Kahiga.
The County’s Chief Officer for Water Mohamed Abdi stated that the abattoirs have not complied with the requisite sanitation standards as per the law, adding that Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company has not issued any licenses to the slaughterhouses.
City Hall Director of Veterinary Services Dr Muhari Muriithi said that the slaughterhouse’s sanitation standard cannot be improved with the only option being its relocation.
He said that the slaughterhouse, which is located in the midst of large human settlement with the huge population overcrowding the facility, lacks efficient effluent system as well as proper entry and exit points making it difficult to implement food safety standards.
“Despite what we can do, Kiamaiko cannot be improved beyond what it is now and the solution has to be relocation,” said Dr Muriithi.
However, this is not the first time the slaughterhouse is coming under scrutiny for its sanitation standards.
Last year April, National Environmental Management Agency (Nema) closed down all slaughterhouses in Kiamaiko for failing to comply with various regulations, especially the management of solid and liquid waste.
According to Nema, the slaughterhouses lacked waste water pre-treatment and quality analysis facilities with the slaughterhouses being a major source of pollutants to Nairobi River.
In December the same year, Nairobi County Environment committee, in its report, faulted the abattoir’s hygienic condition saying that its location in a densely populated area made the slaughterhouse unfit as a food handling entity.
The report also faulted the drainage system and the general environment around the abattoir located in Eastlands, especially the drainage system outside the facility which they termed “not all that good”, calling for its relocation.