Real Estate Developer Now Wants Distiller shut Down Over ‘NEMA’ Non-Compliance
Erdemann Housing Company is calling on the National Assembly to unravel the mystery surrounding the non fulfillment of recommendations on a report on pollution caused by London Distillers Company(LDK) at its plant located in Athi River.
Through its Managing Director Zeyun Yang,the company has written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi saying LDK continues to dispose toxic waste in the area even after a National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) report indicated they should stop.
He has also written to the Ministry of Environment and that of Forestry seeking orders to compel London Distillers Kenya (LDK) to meet the requirements of a distillery and adhere to environmental conservation regulations.
Yang wants Speaker Muturi to move with speed and unravel the mystery surrounding the delays in implementing the report on pollution made by the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural resources.
He said, the implementation of that report, which is pitting his firm against London distillers Kenya Limited (LDK) has taken close to nine months since it was adopted by the house in October 2018.
“The report had among other recommendations stated that LDK had only six months to put it’s house in order or face closure,”
He added that London distillers, an alcoholic drinks firm risks closure over non-compliance of a directive on waste management. According to him,Last year in September, the Mavoko based factory in Machakos County was given six months by the National Assembly Environment Committee to control toxic discharge from its facility after residents of Great Wall Gardens on Shanghai road, Athi River and adjacent areas filed a petition (March) in which they accused the alcohol-maker of subjecting them to health hazards from the waste.
Earlier, in a letter dated January 22, 2018, Real estate developer Erdemann Properties owned by Chinese investor Zeyun Yang had also written to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) raising issues regarding environmental pollution occasioned by toxic fumes and effluent from the firm which was negatively affecting the lives of the residents of the larger Athi river area.
He added that the committee, chaired by Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, carried out investigations into operations of the firm and after hearing submissions from the affected parties validated the concerns noting that families, especially expectant mothers and children, could suffer from long term health complications if nothing was done.
The team directed London Distillers, the makers of Meakins, Napoleon, Kenya King and Safari brands of spirits to maintain high environmental standards that will ensure safe and healthy disposal of waste within the said period failure to which it would be shut down.
“London Distillers should within six months invest in the state-of–art technology that contains air pollution, recycles solid waste, and escalates and/or institutes stringent internal self-regulation.
“It should implement use of the best technology toward cleaning of all resultant industrial by-products from its premises before release to the environment. Failure to implement the recommendations the factory should be closed or be relocated to other suitable areas,”
read the report in part.
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Erdemann has complained that nine months down the line the firm is yet to comply with the relevant environmental legislation and regulations.
The housing company says that already, some interested parties are feeling the heat of delayed compliance by LDK.
The company which develops decent and low-cost shelter to its clients now wants National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to intervene and ensure the directive is followed to the latter since the House committee exhausted the matter to its conclusive and directives given.
Yang said, the parliamentary report should be implemented to the latter to avert loss in millions of shillings his company is incurring. The firm has already built about 2,000 apartments in the area but has struggled to fill them up because of the surrounding industries.
“I am losing millions of shillings every day occasioned by delays to start construction works. Since the report recommends that Erdemann and LDK should co- exist I should be allowed to continue with my projects as LDK is given more time to comply with safety standards,”
He further challenged NEMA to come clean on the matter considering that the agency issued LDK closure notice as early as February 6, 2017 but had reneged on the matter. Just last week, the agency requested him to assist the Authority with suitable site to station a Mobile Air Pollution Monitoring Laboratory and other accessories in his property.
“The committee requested the Authority to carry spot check measurement of Ambient Air Quality Measurement at various sites around your premises as well as London Distillers Kenya Limited in order to collate the measurement presented to them earlier,”
read a letter from Nema.
However, Mr Yang says he reads sinister motives in the latest development considering that Nema had already assessed and faulted LDK for pollution and even recommended shut down of the distiller.
“I don’t know why they (NEMA) are punishing me for non-compliance by London Distillers. If LDK failed to comply, the company should carry its own cross and face the consequence of a closure,”
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