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Four NEMA officials suspended over Embakasi explosion incident

Area residents report hearing loud blasts that echoed through the area, prompting widespread concern and fear.

Four National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officials have been suspended following the Embakasi Gas explosion which killed three people and injured more than 200 others.

The four include the Director of Environmental Compliance and Acting Deputy Director of Compliance.

Two other officers are Senior Environmental Officer from the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) section and the head of the Environmental impact assessment EIA section.

In a statement by Emilio Mugo, the Chairman NEMA Board of Management, the Board directed that the implicated officers step aside immediately pending further investigation by the relevant government agencies.

In its preliminary investigations, the board stated that the gas plant owners forwarded an Environment Impact Assessment project report to NEMA while seeking permission to install and operate the Embakasi facility.

He stated that in February last year, a record decision was made to issue the proposed project with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) license.

However, the NEMA Board says after a thorough assessment of the licensing procedure and process it has established some serious gaps in the issuance of the license to the LPG plant in question.

The board says further investigations revealed that the four suspended NEMA officers unprocedurally processed the license and are therefore culpable.

The board has also directed the National Environment Management Authority’s Management to cooperate with the already established multi-agency teams handling the incident.

This comes barely hours after President William Ruto directed the Ministry of Energy to sack state officers implicated in the licensing of the plant.