Toxic Waste Container Shipped Back to UK

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Saturday shipped the 40-foot container loaded with solid waste back to United Kingdom.

Officials at Mitchell Cotts Freighters Ltd Mombasa accompanied by senior clerk Skyward International, a clearing agent Mr Charles Nyanyigo (right) opening the container that was shipped into the country from UK purported to be carrying plastic bottles but had waste disposal in August 17, 2013. The container was Saturday shipped back to the UK. Photo/File/GEORGE KIKAMI.

Speaking at the Kibarani Michell Cotts Freight Kenya Ltd yard in Mombasa, NEMA enforcement officer Benson Wemali said the consignment would be returned to UK after the importer contravened the country’s environmental regulations.

“Let this serve as a warning to would-be importers that the government would not clear any cargo that fails to adhere to Kenya’s laws and regulations,” he said.

The local importer Vintz Plastic Limited from Nairobi was instructed to foot the bill that run to over than Sh500,000 in terms of clearance, storage and reshipping charges since the cargo arrived in Kenya on July 11, 2013.

Before it was loaded on a truck, the NEMA officials, agents of Skyward International Limited and law enforcers broke the original seal No. C4 4218115 from UK exporter to ascertain the type of cargo.

“You can see this container is stuffed with all sorts of waste product raging from plastic, tins to paper that was declared as plastic bottles,” the NEMA official said.

Asked how the authority would monitor its movement, Mr Wemali said the authority through other partners without the country would track down the consignment immediately it leaves the port.

Skyward senior clerk Charles Nyanyigo said they had cleared the cargo without knowing what was in the container only to be ‘shocked’ with its contents.

“As a clearing agent we only deal with paperwork and document but not the real cargo and we were surprised to discover its hazardous nature to this country,” he said and apologised on behalf of his company.

Immediately after being impounded at the port, NEMA director-general said the imported cargo contained medical, electronic and plastic waste which should be returned to the UK.

– Daily Nation