Three fuel station supervisors in Eldoret were charged on Thursday with irregularly discharging effluent into the Sosiani River and dams in Eldoret, as the national environment watchdog warned traders against dumping waste into the important water body.
The stations don’t have licences clearing them to do so.
The managers were arrested in a crackdown by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) on firms discharging raw waste into aquatic ecosystems and sewers in Eldoret.
The River Sosiani, which flows through Eldoret, is a sub-catchment of the River Nzoia, which drains into Lake Victoria. It is a major water source in the region.
James Kiptoo, Rodgers Kipchirchir and Edwin Kipserem were arraigned before Eldoret Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo on Thursday after being arrested on Monday.
The trio are supervisors at Stabex filling station in Kimumu on the Eldoret-Iten road, Zaburi and Diesel Power, respectively.
They were charged jointly with others not before the court for discharging affluent from their filling stations to aquatic environments without valid licences from Nema, and pleaded guilty to the offences.
The court directed the matter to be mentioned on Friday for sentencing.
Following the arrests, Nema has issued a stern warning to traders in Eldoret who have become notorious for disposing of effluent into the River Sosiani without considering the impact of the environment.
Environmental activist Joan Moimet, who was in court, appealed to Nema officers to intensify patrols along the River Sosiani and to arrest traders who discharging waste into the river.
Ms Moimet said many traders were violating national environmental laws and discharging waste into the river, thus risking the lives of people and aquatic animals.
“River Sosiani is at risk due to rampant discharge of effluent into the river. We want Nema to intensify its crackdown on traders and residents who are dumping toxic substances into the river,” he said.
In the same court, Davis Bob Omanyo, a proprietor of a car wash at the Chepkoilel Junction in Eldoret, was charged with contravening the Environmental Impact Assessment Act by failing to provide an environment assessment report before establishing a car wash as required by the law.
The court heard that Mr Omanyo, who owns Namada car wash, started operating the business without submitting the report.
He denied the charge and was released on a Sh30,000 bond. His case will be heard on June 24.