Donkey Abattoir risks Closure for Poor Waste Management
At the moment, the slaughterhouse does not have dumping site and has been disposing waste in a field the company had set aside for breeding of donkeys.
Environment regulator, NEMA, has issued a 21-day ultimatum to a donkey abattoir in Baringo to rectify waste management practices or face closure. These follows complaints lodged by residents of Chemongoch village, Baringo County in the Kenya Rift Valley.
The KSh. 300 million slaughterhouse owned by Chinese company Goldox Kenya Ltd was opened two years ago and was expected to transform the economic fortunes of the arid region. However, the smoke and stench emanating from the slaughterhouse due to poor disposal of waste is becoming too much of a nuisance to the residents of Chemongoch village as well as travelers using the Nakuru-Marigat highway.
At the moment, the slaughterhouse does not have dumping site and has since been disposing waste in a field the company had set aside for breeding of donkeys.
Residents claim lack of proper environmental impact assessment and laxity in enforcement of disposal laws, has led to the nuisance as the company does not have a dumping ground.
"We stopped using water from the boreholes because waste from the abattoir is carelessly disposed of in the open field, which in turn leaks into the soil, contaminating underground water," Mr Kipketer Changwony, a resident told the Standard in an earlier interview.
"If extensive environmental impact assessment was done, then the company should have a proper disposal unit. However, they have turned this ground into a dumping site. Worse still, the abattoir waste is strewn all over," Mr Kipketer said.
According to the residents, waste from the abattoir is swept into the rivers during the rainy season polluting the rivers. A cloud of smoke from the incinerators is also a major nuisance to the residents as well as tourists visiting the nearby Equator view point.
Dr Francis Langat, a medical doctor, earlier warned that people with wounds who step on donkey faeces face the risk of contracting tetanus if they are not vaccinated within three days. "Donkey faecal matter is up to 70 per cent tetanus carrier. The disease begins when the tetanus bacterium enters the body, usually through a wound or cut that has come into contact with the spores of the bacterium," explained Dr Langat.
It is further further claimed donkey urine causes water to develop strange smell, forcing the community to seek alternative watering points for their animals. The increase in donkey population has also led to shortage of pasture for the community livestock since the donkeys have cleared everything and are now crossing to private farms in search of pasture.