The Public Petitions Committee has demanded immediate administrative action against industries that are releasing harmful substances into the Athi River. They also urged for strict punishment for businesses operating without Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) along the river.
After conducting a visit to the Machakos region, the committee expressed the urgent need to revoke the licenses of non-compliant businesses to prevent further pollution of the river. Nimrod Mbai, the Kitui East MP, stressed the importance of functional waste treatment plants in all companies.
Mbai stated, “We demand the immediate resignation of the Nema officials responsible for this area due to their lack of dedication in fulfilling their responsibilities.”
During the river tour, officials from the Export Processing Zone Authority, Mavoko Water and Sewerage Company, Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority, and the National Environment Management Authority accompanied the committee.
The committee’s visit was prompted by a petition filed by Vincent Musyoka, the Mwala MP and Chair of the Energy Committee, regarding the pollution of the Athi River.
Musyoka emphasized that the pollution originating from industrial waste and residential sewage in Nairobi, upstream from the river, significantly impacts downstream consumers. He warned that the failure to address this issue poses a serious threat to the nation’s well-being.
As a solution, the committee proposed that Nema should only grant licenses to factories equipped with functional ETPs. Additionally, they recommended regular and surprise inspections to enforce compliance, with administrative measures taken against non-compliant companies.
To protect vulnerable Kenyan citizens from non-compliant industries and residential areas, the committee suggested drafting legislation with stringent punitive measures.
The Public Petitions Committee has demanded immediate action to address industrial pollution in the Athi River, including revoking licenses of non-compliant businesses and enforcing the use of Effluent Treatment Plants. They further proposed legislation with strict penalties to safeguard the well-being of Kenyan citizens affected by pollution.