Kibos is part of Kisumu City in western Kenya. Community members from Kibos -Kisumu have been complaining of air and water pollution supposedly from Kibos sugar factory. They petitioned us, KISORA (Kisumu Social Rights Association) Group (The County Environmental Watchdog) and their leaders to take action to address this issue.
One of the issues highlighted in their petition was that, at the inception of the factory development, their views were not taken into consideration at the development of the environmental impact assessment report as required by law. To this extent, the community was not made aware of the health risks associated with the emissions from the factory. Since then, a number of community members have complained of water and air pollution allegedly emitted from the factory. They took action by collecting water samples and presenting them to the government lab in Kisumu who until now have not presented the results of the analyzed water samples.
Three members of the KISORA group toured the region and came out with the following findings;
- The factory is using bagasse (fiber waste from cane milling) among other construction materials, to fill up the river bank. The 30 meters river bank safety rules have been grossly violated.
- Two residents (women) of the area narrated to us how their tea and milk were completely soiled when they used water from the river for cooking tea.
- We took a sample of river water down stream and found that is smelled of fusel alcohol, esters and organic acids and had a high turbidity index.
- Wastes may contain dilute sulphuric acid and inorganic salts used as additives in the fermentation process. These effluents may have devastating effects on the fish down- stream.
This far, Hakijamii together with KISORA has organized a task force to carry on discussions and water samples have been taken to private labs to identify any cases of alleged pollution.