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London Distillers, Erdemann pollution row now escalates

Ederman property
Engineer Kioko Mutisya Ederman property limited technical manager inspects allegded untreated sewer water claimed to seep from London Distillers Kenya. PHOTO | STANLEY NGOTHO 

The dispute between Chinese developer Erdermann Properties and liquor manufacturer London Distillers Kenya (LDK) over alleged pollution affecting the former’s housing units in Athi River has escalated with the two now opting to square it out in court.

The two firms have been embroiled in a dispute over air pollution and disposal of waste into the waters of River Athi.

London Distillers has now moved to court to block phase three of Erdemann's housing project that is in its early stages.

In a letter dated July 14, filed under certificate of urgency, LDK has sued the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for licensing the Chinese investor’s project.

LDK environment officer Chrispas Michira maintains that resolving the matter amicably has failed and that it’s time for the court to settle the matter.

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Erdemann has been named the second respondent with the distillery noting that the developer did not consult them during an environment impact assessment report compilation.

According to the Safari Cane and Meakins spirits maker, the housing project has ignored a buffer zone provided by law and argues that setting up the project adjacent to the factory is a breach of industrial and residential planning regulations.

The move comes after failure by Nema to resolve the dispute between the two investors who have been cleared by the regulatory body to carry on with their businesses.

At the centre of the disputes has been disposal of what is suspected to be affluent. Both investors accuse each other of waste water disposal endangering residents’ health.

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