Magoha: I’ll shut down sugar firm if it fails to relocate school for blind

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha wants a sugar company to pay for the relocation of Kibos School for the Blind.

Speaking on Saturday in Chemilil, Prof Magoha (pictured) said Kibos Sugar Company was responsible for the noise pollution that has made learning impossible at the special school.

Kibos milling plant is located adjacent to the special school, only separated by a road.

Apart from the noise pollution, the sugar firm has been accused of emitting gases that are harmful to the learners.

Magoha told area MP Onyango Koyoo to approach the county government for land where the special school can be relocated.

“This relocation must be done hurriedly to save our children from pollution. I am not a politician, but if I visit that milling plant I will shut it down,” said Magoha.

He insisted the plant will have to be closed if the solution that he has proposed will be ignored.

Already, Chemilil residents who want the plant to be closed have gone to court seeking orders to stop its operations. The case is pending at Kisumu courts.

Magoha stressed that it was shameful for children with special needs to continue suffering from industrial pollution as area political leaders stay silent. He said if the miller heeds his call to relocate the special school, he will be keenly watching where the relocation will take place.

“The children must not be relocated to a bush. The school must be reestablished within Kisumu town. That is why Mr Koyoo must liaise with the county government to get land,” Magoha said.

The CS averred that by relocating the school, he means that the sugar miller must pay for the full construction of its new structures in Kisumu.

Last month, the management of the sugar firm threatened to move to another country over what it termed as frustrations from sources it did not name. The firm made the threat after the National Assembly’s Education Committee visited its premises and asked it to address the pollution complaints.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said he will make sure the firm keeps its investments in the county. He said the factory employs close to 2,000 people and if it moves its operations, there would be job losses.

“There are also traders who rely on the factory for their supplies. It has made one of the biggest investments in the lake region and we cannot allow it to shut down,” Prof Nyong’o was quoted saying.