In response to mounting concerns from local residents, Bamburi Cement has temporarily ceased its operations following a directive from the Mombasa County Government. The move comes after allegations of the company openly dumping coal dust on nearby fields, prompting health-related complaints from the community.
Mombasa County Deputy Governor Francis Thoya, accompanied by officials from the National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA), visited the factory premises on Monday to address the residents’ grievances. Upon inspection, it was discovered that coal dust was being openly dumped instead of being stored in silos, as previously recommended.
Expressing his concern, Thoya remarked, “I have ordered the operations of dumping the coal to be halted immediately and further ordered that their shipment at the port of Mombasa be withheld immediately.”
Residents near the factory had reported health issues, including respiratory infections, allegedly caused by the deposited coal dust. Thoya emphasized that the county government had conducted joint investigations with Public Health, revealing that Bamburi Cement had been depositing the dust openly for the past two months.
To address the situation, the County Government has instructed the factory to draft regulations on how to eliminate or properly store the coal dust before resuming operations. Thoya commented, “They should come with draft regulations on how this coal dust can be eliminated or stored in silos, and this order begins immediately.”
Residents, who have resorted to wearing face masks and socks to protect themselves from the effects of the black dust, hope that these measures will lead to a resolution and a safer environment.
Report by Jesse Abisheck