Residents of the Oloosidan area of Kajiado East are protesting against the construction of a duvet factory on claims of no public participation.
While speaking in Kitengela, the elders representing the residents led by Clinton Kirotie accused the proprietors of the company, Golden Star, of failing to put up a caveat on the piece of land they want to put up the factory.
Kirotie claimed Mohamed Hersi, the lead proprietor of the company did not seek the guidance of a contractor picked to do an environmental impact assessment of the land on which the factory is set to be built.
“Hersi invited us and took us photos which we later learnt were attach to documents later sent to the National Environmental Management Authority for approval. We are objecting to this and NEMA should not approve that assessment,” said Solomon Oloishorua.
Oloishorua said most factories in Kisaju followed proper channels to acquire Nema certification, and approvals from the county government and Golden Star should not be exceptional.
“We are not against any kind of investment in Kisaju but we are calling upon the investors to follow laid down protocols laid down by the county government,” added Oloishorua.
The residents also accused their local chief, Stephen Tipango, of “mischievously” working with the investor to break the rules of the county government.
Tipanko in his reply said that when he was approached by the investor on the matter of public participation, he summoned his area assistant chief to represent him.
“As far as I know, there was no public participation and I never colluded with anyone. I am aware of the county laws and I cannot help anyone to bend the laws of the county,” said Tipanko.
Hersi disapproved of the elders’ claims and said he has a list of the people from the village who took part in public participation.
“I know the local people want us to have a meeting with them on what we can provide as part of our corporate social responsibility. We have not objected to that. We will meet them,” said Hersi.
The county NEMA director, Joseph Kopejo said, a proper EIA must be done and the local people must be involved in a properly constituted public participation.
“We cannot approve assessments that were not professionally done. I am advising the concerned to do a letter of complaint to us so that we can take up from there,” said Kopejo.
He also said his office will do its independent investigation based on the complaints raised by the residents.