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Sort out Kiamaiko slaughterhouse debacle once and for all

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The National Environment Management Authority NEMA recently gave Kiamaiko slaughterhouse operators a one month notice to vacate the place and instead relocate to a new facility in Lucky summer accusing them of allegedly polluting Nairobi River by discharging liquid waste.

While defending its decision, NEMA noted that the famous slaughterhouse in Nairobi was operating in unhygienic manner hence endangering the lives of the public.

“With regards to the Kiamaiko slaughterhouse issue, it has been a thorn in the flesh for us for years now. It is a slaughterhouse that is very close to the river and has the potential to pollute Nairobi river eco system. We have given the operators there a notice to move to the new facilities and this is the order that must be enforced, no further negotiations,” Nema Director General Mamo Boru stated.

“We did an assessment in December 2020 and the recommendation was that the operators at Kiamaiko slaughterhouse needed to move. In fact we have given them the month of February to be able to organize themselves and move to the other new site. There are no extensions, we have for long engaged these people and now they need to relocate,” He added.

This is not the first time the Kiamaiko slaughterhouse operators have been advised to relocate. In 2018, NEMA shut down the facility over river pollution; it accused the operators of lacking suitable waste management system.

In September 2019, city hall called for the closure of unlicensed slaughterhouses in Kiamaiko until proper sanitation standards were met. A joint team consisting of departments of Health, water, Planning, Agriculture and environment from the county government of Nairobi together with a number of members of county assembly visited the slaughterhouse and learned that apart from the 15 abattoirs there were 14 other illegal slaughterhouses that were operating in the vicinity.

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This push and pull between NEMA and the operators has been going on since the years 2015 with no solution in sight. the operators have continuously snubbed the Lucky summer facility since it was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta alleging that the facility was small and was owned by powerful individuals who wanted to control the business for their own benefit hence they allege that they will lose business.

Kitu inatushtua ni kitu moja, natungependa NEMA watueleze, tunaskia wakisema Kiamaiko ni chafu ndio kwasababu wanataka kufunga, eti tunaenda kuchafua Nairobi River. sisi hatujachafua nairobi river , Nairobi River ilichafuliwa na wale wako ndani ya nairobi wote, choo zao zote ndio zinaenda kuchafua nairobi river.NEMA are alleging that we are the ones who are dirtying Nairobi River, that is far from the truth. Nairobi river is dirtied by human waste from the city residents,” Jacob Kamaua trader at Kiamaiko slaughter house intimated.

Sisi tuko na madrainage, tunalipa license katika city council, hao watu wanataka tu kukulia kwa hiyo slaughterhouse mpya ya luckysummer, wanataka kucontrol hii business ya nyama. na hatutakubali. There are people hell-bent at controlling the slaughterhouse business in Nairobi. This is the reason why we are being evicted at Kiamaiko to Luckysummer. It’s for their self-interest nothing else,” he added.

Maji imekatwa kutoka siku ile walisema eti tunatakikana kutoka Kiamaiko.sahi sisi hatuna maji hata kidogo .sasa watu wote watatoshea huko Luckysummer? na hatutoki.sisi tukitoka hapa mtakuwa mnarokota maiti huku chini sababu huku kunasaidia watu zaidi ya watu million. They have already disconnected water at the Kiamaiko slaughterhouse, but despite this we will not relocate to the Lucky summer slaughterhouse. Millions of people depend on the Kiamaiko slaughterhouse to earn a living, closing it will lead to increased crime in the area,” Margaret Muthoni a trader at Kiamaiko said.

How many times will the Kiamaiko slaughterhouse be closed and then later reopened? Because as far as I can recall, this is not the first time the slaughter house has been closed or even got  threatening calls to be shut down by NEMA. The latest being on Monday 30th January 2022 when the Authority gave a 14 day notice to business operators in that facility of an impending shutdown due to affluent being directed to the Nairobi river hence endangering the life’s of the public. And with the many shutdowns why has NEMA allowed the operationalization of the slaughterhouse? Were the issues they highlighted and that led to the closure of the facility back then resolved? And if so why shut it down again? This whole issue smells of foul play and lack of transparency in fact it smells more of business rivalry and business dealings at the expense of common Mwananchi who depends on the said Kiamaiko slaughterhouse to earn a living.

It is projected that thousands of people do earn a living from the Kiamaiko slaughterhouse doing varied jobs. A spot check at Kiamaiko slaughter house revealed that there are youth who do the slaughtering of the goats, others who clean the intestines of the animals and others who wash the goats before they are slaughtered. The youth say on a good day they earn 500 shillings hence with the imminent permanent closure they won’t have any job to depend on.

“Kiamaiko ndio inatuleanga , wakifunga itakuwa ni ngori sana juu crime itarise hapa tu sana , na kama gava ni janjes inafaa icome iambie watu zile sharia zinafaa kufuatiliwa, kama wanasema watu wanauza  nyama chafu huku I mean hakuna kitu mbaya inauzwa hapa na kama ni mitaro si ni shughuli ya gava inafaa ifanye hivyo. mimi hapa Napata ki 500 sasa wakifunga nitakula? Crime rate in Kiamaiko will surely increase if the government decides to shut down Kiamaiko slaughterhouse and the governments allegations that we sell bad meat here is unfounded, we don’t do that we engage in legitimate business. I earn 500 shillings a day here. So when the government decides to shut down this facility where will I earn a living from?” Ken Mwangi a youth working at the slaughterhouse asked.

BY WEMA TOYWA   #WEMA’STAKE

VIDEO OF THE DAY; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfM2SDM1FzI

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