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Finally, Justice Served For Uhuru Wino Dwellers

Purity Kinuthia

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Established in 2006 and started its operation in 2007 the metal refinery company (EPZ) Limited emitted hazardous waste and emissions that had destroyed many life’s in Uhuru Wino slums, Jomvu constituency in Mombasa.

The residents opted to file for the case in 2016 after no interventions were made to stop the pollution despite their plea. The case was later filled by the Executive center for justice Governance and Environmental Action director Phyliss Omido on behalf of the resident.

For decades the company had been emitting pollutants within the 13.5-acre village leading to the direct death of more than 20 villagers while others were left impaired and suffering other ailments as a result of the lead poisoning.

A report from the government chemist indicated that lead levels within the soil in the village are 40mg/ft2. Families that lost their loved once to lead poisoning are left with nothing but memories of them. seeking justice for them is what they could do.

However, the long search for justice came to an end when the landmark ruling on Thursday awarded them sh1.3billlion compensation from the damage. The government will cater to 70% of the 1.3billlion compensation award whereas the factory will account for 25% of the money. Former Nyati MP firm (Penguin Paper and Book Company) that had leased land to the refinery company will pay Ksh65million and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) will pay Ksh520 million.

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Besides that, Justice Ann Omollo also ordered the residents to be provided for clean water in the village to remove the waste deposits and soil clean up to remove the toxic waste that has accumulated there for decades.

At last, justice had been served for this poverty-stricken village who had face adverse effects as a result of industrialization within their Enviros. The money will not bring back the lost lives but will at least better the lives of those, whose life took a permanent change from the harmful emissions and waste disposed of in their village. It would play a great deal in securing good medication for those seriously ailing.

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