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28 Jun 2021

Pius Maundu, Business Daily (Kenya)

Kenya: Locals sue regulatory agency for failure to stop Endmor Steel Millers from allegedly polluting environment

"Syokimau residents sue Nema over steel milling pollution"

Residents of Syokimau Estate in Machakos County have sued the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) in a fresh twist regarding a longstanding dispute with Endmor Steel Millers Limited, a metal smelting company whose factory the residents accuse of air and noise pollution. The factory is located within the estate and has been in operation for the past five years, a period characterised by complaints of noise and air pollution by more than 1,200 members of Syokimau Residents Association.

The environment watchdog, according to the residents, has been looking the other way as the factory pollutes with noise and toxic gases, including nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and carbon monoxide... “The noise and air emissions from the factory of the first interested party has currently reached unbearable proportions to the residents living near the factory who comprise the applicants and members of the 1st interested party,” reads the pleadings in the suit certified as urgent and which lawyer Isaac Miencha filed on on Thursday...

The company maintains it is operating responsibly and that its emissions are within the permissible levels to the chagrin of residents who link a spike in respiratory diseases and deaths in the area to the factory. Machakos governor Alfred Mutua last year ordered the factory shut down and announced that his administration would suspend the company’s licence.