A vicious legal conflict is threatening to erupt between two major multi-billion shillings corporate organizations based in Athi-River over environmental pollution.
One of the companies a multi-million shillings alcohol spirits distilling company has already been ordered closed by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) but it has defied the orders in the raging war that is already brewing in the corporate circles.
The situation is so bad that NEMA has already issued closure orders to the London Distillers Kenya Limited which is at war with real estate developers Erdemann Property Ltd over environmental pollution to its residential housing worth hundreds of millions of shillings.
Trouble according to NEMA erupted when it started getting numerous complaints from residents and members of the general public concerning the rampant un-checked environmental pollution that was being rolled out by the distilling company. [wp_ad_camp_2]
According to the NEMA closure orders meted out to distiller: “Following the complaints, NEMA had sent its own environmental inspectors on the ground who carried out a thorough inspection of the affected areas and confirmed the situation was serious.”
The letter dated February 6th, 2018 and signed by the NEMA Director General Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu reads: “You are therefore hereby ordered to cease or stop further operations of your factory with immediate effect.”
The letter was also copied to the Machakos County Director of Environment and to his police counterpart however the order has since not been executed.
Ironically after having being directed to close its operations with immediate effect, London Distillers Kenya Ltd went ahead to write a letter to the NEMA Director General demanding for the demolition of more than 2000 units of upmarket housing residential houses worth hundreds of millions of shillings at Great Wall Garden Estate in the same Athi-River neighbourhood.
[wp_ad_camp_2] The letter dated January 29th, 2018 signed by the London Distillers Chairman Mohan Galot reads and I quote: “We demand for the immediate demolition of the 2000 residential housing units because they were illegally constructed on the land set aside for industrial and not for residential development.”
However on February 5th, 2018 Erdemann wrote another letter to the NEMA headquarters complaining against continued pollution of the environment by the distiller despite the orders meted out by the authority. This has set the stage for the looming epic battle between the corporate organizations.
When addressing members of the Press at a brief taking over ceremony in his office, the newly appointed CS for Environment Keriako Tobiko emphasized that Environment was the foundation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four.
He warned that persons or corporates involved in Environmental degradation shall be dealt with according to the law without fear or favour adding that NEMA should be allowed to execute its mandate without interference.