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Day of reckoning for two firms facing imminent closure

By Harold Odhiambo | January 31st 2020
By Harold Odhiambo | January 31st 2020
Kibos Sugar Company in Kisumu County. [Collins Oduor/Standard]

Two companies in Nyanza facing closure will know their fate today.

Kibos Sugar and Allied Company is awaiting a ruling on an appeal it filed, seeking to overturn an earlier decision invalidating its licence. And Agro Chemicals and Food Company is hoping for the dismissal of an application for its temporary closure over pollution.

The outcome of the two cases will have far-reaching repercussions on the region’s economy, considering they employ thousands of Kisumu County residents.

In the first case, two Muhoroni residents - Patrick Odundo and Maxwell Otieno - have accused Agro Chemicals of discharging raw effluent into River Nyando, putting lives at risk.

They are seeking orders to have the company compelled to find an alternative place to dispose of its toxic waste pending hearing and determination of the case.

The petitioners are also pushing to have the company’s licence suspended by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) should it fail to comply with their demands.

“We pray that the suspension of the company’s licence by Nema also remains in force,” read their petition in part.

The company, however, has denied polluting the environment, and told court that it has complied with all the legal requirements and environmental regulations.

“The company has an elaborate, functional and efficient effluent treatment plant systems which are operated and maintained and therefore does not discharge raw effluent into rivers as alleged,” the firm’s lawyer Peter Macharia told court. Kibos Sugar factory is hoping to overturn a ruling, declaring that it obtained its licence irregularly.

The miller has challenged an order directing it to demolish structures on two parcels of land and to restore the natural environment.


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