By Nicholas Anyuor
A row is brewing in Kisumu over the construction of a gas refilling plant, with local leaders appealing to the Government to stop the project.
The leaders have petitioned against the construction of the multi-million shilling plant over claims the National Environment Management Authority ( Nema) had not approved the same.
They expressed fear of having such a plant in the town without Nema’s approval after the fire explosion in Nairobi’s Sinai slums.
Solomon Kihiyo, Kisumu East District environmental officer has also supported the calls, saying it was necessary for the construction to start only after the environmental assessment and consultation with the community.
He said his office had not approved the construction of the plant, adding any move to continue with the work would be illegal.
In a letter copied to Environment Minister Ali Mwakwere and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy James Rege, the leaders, led by the area MP Shakeel Shabir, asked the Government to investigate the matter.
They argued the construction of the plant at the sprawling Nyalenda A slums was a health risk since the area has a high population density, low income and was close to a by-pass, which is under construction.
This came after a meeting chaired by the MP at Nyabera Chief’s Camp attended by locals and councillors from Kolwa East, Kolwa West and Kolwa Central locations who agreed unanimously to ensure the plant was not built in the area without necessary environmental assessment.
“Kindly investigate this matter urgently and take the necessary action to ensure that the Nyalenda A community is not exposed to the dangers similar to the Sinai disaster,” read the letter.