One of the largest flower farms in Naivasha faces closure after it emerged that it was openly releasing toxic waste into the nearby Lake Naivasha.
Following an impromptu visit to Kentalya farm located along Moi South Lake road, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) issued it with a seven day closure notice over the massive pollution.
The move puts at risk over 1,000 jobs in the farm which does not have a wetland and does not treat its effluent in accordance with the law.
This emerged during a crackdown by a team of NEMA officials on flower farms, petrol stations and hotels around the town that do not have discharge points and licenses for the facilities.
During the crackdown, over twenty people including a manager from the farm were arrested for various offences including selling the banned polythene bags and poor waste management.
Addressing the press after visiting the farm, NEMA director of environment in Nakuru County Antony Saisi Aura said that the operations in the farm were shocking.
He noted that the effluents were toxic and posed a major threat to the aquatic life in the lake which in the past has recorded mass fish death.
“We shall issue the farm with the closure notice as it’s openly discharging toxic waste into the environment and in the nearby lake,” he said.
Saisi added that the crackdown targeting farms polluting the environment by failing to treat their effluents would be spread to other farms.
“Majority of the farms have in Naivasha have adhered to the law but we have few errant farmers who have been flouting the law and we shall deal with them,” he said.
The senior officer pointed an accusing finger at the Naivasha sewerage plant as another facility that was releasing untreated sewerage into the water body.
The director at the same time expressed the authority concern over the resurgence of plastic paper bags that were banned last year.
He said that their investigations had confirmed that hundreds of traders in the country were selling the bags after obtaining them from a neighboring country.
“We have seen the banned bags remerge mainly in the kadogo economy and we have heightened our surveillance on that end,” he said.
Saisi noted that majority of petrol stations that had been visited in Naivasha were openly discharging oil and other fuels into the open regardless of the law.