High Court shuts down Kibos sugar factory over ‘pollution’

High Court shuts down Kibos sugar factory over ‘pollution’

The High Court in Kisumu on Wednesday granted orders restraining Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries from operating for 14 days due to pollution.

Environment and Land Court Judge SM Kibunja said the factory should remain shut pending an inter-party hearing set for November 14, 2018.

Sectors set to be affected by the shut-down directive include milling of sugar as well as production of power and ethanol.

Three Kibos residents; Benson Adega, Erick Ochieng and Betha Apiyo, had moved to court to seek orders to shut down the factory for alleged continued pollution of the environment through effluent discharge into the local rivers.

Among the orders sought by the petitioners, Justice Kibunja only granted two orders that rendered the certificate on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) invalid.

The petitioners had claimed that the EIA study conducted in the factory was unconstitutional, illegal and a contravention of the provisions in the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act, 1999.

In the court documents, the petitioners accused the factory of discharging effluent into the rivers, producing harmful ashes into the community and discharging raw sewer on the roads.

Speaking to the press after the court ruling, Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries’ lawyer Francis Olel said his client had instructed him to move to the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

Mr. Olel said the ruling was injurious to the company that has a workforce of more than 2,000 employees as well as thousands of contracted sugarcane farmers who rely on them.

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