A section of Tana River County leaders have opposed a proposal for an Environmental Impact Assessment study report for the proposed asbestos disposal site in the Minjila area within the Garsen constituency.
Led by Tanariver Woman Rep Amina Dika and Senator Danson Mungatana, the leaders said Minjila is a fast-growing township and a great deal to the residents, therefore, the proposal to dump the hazardous waste will lead to the extermination of the communities nearby.
Already, the Woman Rep has written a letter to the Director General of NEMA objecting to the proposed EIA for the asbestos disposal dumping site on plot number 1250B at Minjila.
In a letter dated July 24 2023, Dika the proposed project was scandalous and must not be allowed.
“Minjila area is a fast-growing township in the county sustaining a great deal of Tanariver Economy It serves as a critical business hub for the region as witnessed by the recent population trend in pursuit of opportunities, this alone outlines why such a critical area that supports livelihoods of my county cannot be used as a dump site of a hazardous waste of any magnitude,” she said.
She said the attention of the proposed EIA was drawn in a Daily Nation Advert dated July 19 2023 by NEMA seeking public comments on the proposed project EIA.
“Thus, on behalf of the people of Tanariver whom I represent and whose very survival is jeopardized by the proposed dumping and on my own behalf I wish in the first instance to register my unequivocal objection to this proposal and advise your good office to treat it with the contempt it deserves,” said the Woman Rep.
She said most of the wells in Tanariver County and Minjila area in particular shallow wells of between 6-10 meters serve as the main source of domestic water use.
To her dumping asbestos to a 6-meter depth will affect the underground water surface and endanger the lives of the communities.
“It is common knowledge that residues from these poisonous materials are washed into surface reservoirs further endangering the lives of both humans and livestock,” she said.
She further said the hazardous asbestos materials blown by the wind during dumping and in transit to the site should pollute the air and expose communities to major health risks.
On his part, Mungatana said categorically that Tanariver will not be a dumping site for asbestos.
Speaking in a public meeting at Minjilla in Garsen Constituency he said a company called Liberty Solutions Ltd had applied for a licence from NEMA to use its plot number LR 250B located in Minjilla as a dumping site for asbestos.
He said the use of asbestos has been banned all over the world because of its capacity to cause lung cancer.
“The proposal by the company to bury over 3000 tonnes in Minjilla Hill is not acceptable because it will not only affect life at Minjilla but it will affect the soils and become poison to all surrounding towns and villages like Itsowe, Garsen, Kibusu, Dumi and eventually reach the river, Tana,” he said.
The Senator said the owners of the company were not from Tanariver County because they would not have considered such a deadly ridiculous thing against the people of Tanariver County.
“We are inviting the company’s owners to go and dump the asbestos wherever they came from,” he said.
Mungatana said the leaders from the county shall begin collecting signatures to support the resolution to oppose the project and promised to file a petition with NEMA.