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Governor Mutua orders closure of steel company over claims of pollution – Nairobi News

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The Machakos County Government has ordered the closure of Endmor Steel Mills, a company based in Syokimau that has reportedly been releasing emissions that polite the air.

The story was first highlighted on Citizen TV through an expose by Enock Sikolia on Sunday evening and gained traction on social media.

The Machakos County Government has now moved fast by ordering the closure of the facility until it meets some set guidelines.

“After complaints by members of the public, I dispatched my Minister in charge of environment to inspect Endmor Steel Mills and the complaints of air pollution,” a statement signed by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua reads in part.

Endmor Steel Mills in Syokimau whose closure has been ordered for by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua. PHOTO | JEFF KINYANJUI
Endmor Steel Mills in Syokimau whose closure has been ordered for by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua. PHOTO | JEFF KINYANJUI

SAFEGUARDING LIVES

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“To safeguard the lives of our people whose respiratory systems are being affected by the pollution even rendering them in more danger during this difficult time of Covid-19, Machakos County Government has suspended the business license of the said company until measure in the attached report are dealt with,” the statement further reads.

Some of the recommendations set by the Machakos County Government to the company are for it to adopt clean production processes and to ensure occupational health and safety standards are followed.

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Mediamax employee tests positive for Covid-19, colleagues asked to self-isolate – Nairobi News

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Several employees of the Mediamax Network Limited have been ordered to self-isolate after an employee from the finance department tested positive for Covid-19.

An internal memo sent to the Mediamax employees and seen by Nairobi News revealed that the affected employee had already self-isolated at his home.

“Please be informed that one employee in the Finance Department has tested positive for Covid-19 after exhibiting mild symptoms. The employee has already self-isolated in accordance with home-based care guidelines,” the memo signed by CEO Ken Ngaruiya reads in part.

The company, which owns and runs K24 TV and Milele FM, on Monday locked down its third floor offices until Tuesday and it is expected to be fumigated.

Mr Ngaruiya also said that plans were underway to decongestant the office in a bid to control the spread of the novel disease.

He further indicated that already the company had started to trace people who came into contacts with the said employee.

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Last week, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation also announced that two members of its staff had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read: Two employees of KBC test positive for Covid-19

On Monday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced that 189 more people had tested positive for Covid-19 with 12 fresh deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

The infections annonced on Monday raised the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Kenya to 10,294.

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Kenya: No COVID-19 Testing for Travellers Traversing South Rift Counties

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Most counties in the South Rift do not have structures and measures in place to monitor the health statuses of hundreds of people passing through the region.

This is despite an influx of travellers after President Uhuru Kenyatta eased the restrictions of movement.

Following the end of cessation of order for the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera, matatu and bus companies have recorded an increase in the number of travellers heading to rural areas.

Nakuru, Narok, Laikipia and Samburu are some of the areas relying on community health volunteers and community policing personnel to monitor the behaviours of the people travelling to the villages.

NO CAPACITY

In Nakuru, the health department says it has no capacity to check the thousands of travellers for body temperatures or any other symptoms related to Covid-19.

County Public Health Chief Officer Samuel King’ori said Nakuru is a link route to many counties and travellers who pass through the region are mainly destined to other places.

“We cannot test everybody who pass through Nakuru County considering most of the travellers are heading to various destinations. But we have measures in place to monitor those who are coming to Nakuru,” he said.

He noted that the county has placed community health workers in every sub-county who monitor those who travel to their areas and quarantine them when necessary.

ADVERSE EFFECTS

Governor Lee Kinyanjui was the first county boss to oppose the lifting of travel restrictions by the President, saying that the move will have adverse effects on counties with comparatively low infection rates.

“The virus cannot travel on its own and hence increase in human movement translates to higher risk of infections,” the governor said in a statement.

Nyandarua and Laikipia counties too are relying on Nyumba Kumi teams to monitor the movement of people who have been away in Nairobi, Mandera, Kwale and Mombasa counties.

In Narok, Health CEC Morgan Siloma says the county is using Nyumba Kumi officials to monitor the movements of people into the villages and then ask them to commit to self-isolation as part of the extensive surveillance programme meant to minimise the risk of county-to-county transmission.

MONITORING AND SURVEILLANCE

Mr Siloma said security agencies have up-scaled their monitoring and surveillance operations targeting visitors coming in the county from high-risk neighbouring counties including Nairobi where Covid-19 cases have been reported.

Counties neighbouring the South Rift region including Bomet, Kajiado, Nyandarua, Nakuru, Kericho, Kiambu and Narok have already reported coronavirus cases.

“We have escalated our monitoring for persons and visitors returning from neighbouring counties with reported Covid-19 cases,” said Mr Siloma

As a safety precaution, visitors to the regions are asked to self-quarantine at their homes for 14-days even when they do not exhibit signs of the dreaded disease before mingling freely with the rest of the community.

GATEWAY TO OTHER COUNTIES

Mr Siloma said as a gateway to other South Rift counties, South Nyanza, Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Narok County, which has already recorded 28 cases of the virus, remains vulnerable.

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Despite the measures being taken to control the spread, most of those interviewed by the Nation said they had not been tested or approached by health officials even after they travelled.

Former Gilgil MP Mathenge Ndiritu was among those who were holed up in Nairobi following the cessation of movement order.

But the former legislator told the Nation that he remained indoors at his residence at the time of the pandemic and rarely ventured out.

His driver, though, underwent testing at Ruaka area and tested negative for Covid-19.

The former MP said he had not been tested and has not been approached by any health official to ask him to commit to self-quarantine.

“Personally, I have never been tested for the virus, save for the normal temperature checks at mall and other outlets,” said Mr Ndiritu.

HARD LIFE IN NAIROBI

Paul Njoroge, a resident of Laikipia, travelled from Nairobi to Nyahururu with his family just two days after the cessation of movement order was lifted.