FOUR TOILETS, 300 EMPLOYEES

Endmor Steel Mills closed, pollution, Covid violations cited

Company accused of releasing harmful gas, violating sanitation and Covid-19 protocols.

In Summary

• Mutua said the company was releasing harmful smoke and gas to the environment,  residents from Mlolongo and Syokimau said their health was in danger. 

• He said the company will remain closed and business license suspended until it complies with all Nema, health and safety and Covid-19 protocols.

Machakos county on Monday ordered immediate closure of the Endmor Steel Mills in Lyokimau, citing air pollution, lack of toilets and violation of Covid-19 protocols.

Its business licence was also suspended indefinitely.

Governor Alfred Mutua ordered indefinite closure until the company adheres to all standards set by the National Environmental Management Authority as well as Machakos county.

 

Mutua said the company was releasing harmful smoke and gas into the environment and residents of Mlolongo and Syokimau said their health was in danger.

“To safeguard the lives of our people whose respiratory systems are being affected by the pollution, even rendering them in more danger during this difficult time of Covid-19, the Machakos County Government has suspended the business license of the company until measures in the attached report are dealt with,” Mutua said.

He was addressing the press at Machakos Level 5 hospital as he received donations from the Equity Group Foundation.

On June 26, the governor ordered his CEC for environment to inspect Endmor Steel Mills, following public complaints about pollution.

The report released on July 2 said the company was violating Nema and Occupational Health and Safety standards.

"I have studied the report and consulted about it,” Mutua said.

“This is an issue of public interest and has attracted media attention.”

 

Last year Nema took Endmor Steel Mills to court for violating environmental standards. The case is still in court.

Mutua said the county was not party to that case.

Endmor Steel Mills is required to stop polluting the air and clean up its production processes in accordance with environmental and occupational safety guidelines. Government authorities and the county must be satisfied with full compliance before operations can resume.

Concerning preventing Covid-19, the company will also have to provide adequate sanitation and hand washing facilities.

All workers must wear KN95 masks, adhere to social distancing rules, wash their hands frequently and get their temperature taken daily. All visitors must also have their temperatures taken.

A report seen by the Star indicated the company did not provide proper separation of gas in June and did not comply with National Covid-19 safety protocols.

The county said the company did not have enough toilets - only four for more than 300 employees.

The company also does not provide enough safe drinking water for its employees, among other shortcomings, the county said

(Edited by V. Graham)