16 owners of hotels, petrol stations in Samburu arrested
16 businessmen who own hotels and petrol stations in Maralal town, Samburu County have been arrested.
They are accused of failing to comply with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) regulations on waste disposal.
Speaking after they launched a crackdown on all illegal operations, Samburu County NEMA director Gilbert Magut said they failed to act on the improvement notices served to them.
According to Magut, all owners of hotel and petrol stations are required to apply for licenses which they pay different fees for depending on how their facilities discharge waste into the environment.
However, the traders complained of harassment during the operations and lack of government services for the fees they are paying licenses for.
“I did not get any notice, as they say, the NEMA officials just raided my facility and arrested me,” Mr. Kareith, a manager at Yossana hotel said.
On her part, Mrs. Beatrice Leshore lamented that she is forced to incur extra cost to transport samples of the effluent from her hotel facility to Nakuru or Nyeri for analysis before she is issued with a license from NEMA.
In this regard, Mr. Magut said his office will advise on the appropriate measures and recommend treatment if the pollution caused by the effluent is beyond permissible levels.
The environmental prosecutor at NEMA Endolo Josiah said those arrested have been released on cash bail ranging between Ksh. 10,000 and Ksh. 20,000 to give them time to comply with the regulations before Tuesday next week.
“No person should release affluent or dirty water to the environment unless he has a license and actually, the penalty is fine between Ksh. 2 to 4 million or alternative of one to two years imprisonment or both,” he said.
“The rate of compliance to NEMA set regulations on waste disposal in the county has been too low in past years,” he added.
The NEMA officer maintained that his office would continue with the clampdown to enforce the law and ensure all facilities comply with the set regulations.
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