Robin Obino @obinorobin
It was business as usual for Nairobi’s Kiamaiko slaughterhouses despite National Environment Management Authority (Nema) closing the facility.
The agency on Monday ordered all the 15 slaughterhouses shut for polluting the Nairobi River. An operation to clean the river is underway under the Nairobi regeneration programme, a joint venture between the National and county governments aimed at improving the city’s image.
Nema said the abattoirs would remain shut until it complies with set standards on effluent disposal. Some operators, however, said they would remain in business until they deplete their stock. Nema move followed a lengthy meeting between the slaughterhouses management and the environmental watchdog.
Nema county director of environment Njoki Mukiri issued the operators with closure notices effective yesterday. She said the slaughterhouses lack a proper waste management system.
“We have decided to take this tough measure because the slaughterhouses have failed to comply with various regulations especially in the management of solid and liquid waste,” she said.
Health risks Mukiri said an alternative space had already been secured in Njiru for the construction of modern abattoirs. “We are not able to clean the river with the current status.
So, ideally from Tuesday, there should be no slaughtering of animals here,” she said, adding that the condition of the facility exposes consumers to health risks.
But owners of the abattoirs, under the umbrella of the Kiamaiko Slaughterhouse Association threatened to sue Nema. The group said they “read a hidden hand” in latest move to push them out of the area.
“We have been here since 1996. We have all the licences. We are compliant and are not doing an illegal business,” said chairman Wario Kimeko. Some operators have vowed to continue with their activities at Kiamaiko until the new facility is up and running.