The rise of the dispute between Kanduyi residents and the Shreeji station owner


In Bungoma county lies a beautiful town of Kanduyi, the town which is said to be small but has many things unexpected of it. In the heart of Kanduyi lies one of the most preferred petrol station, Shreeji Petrol Station, popularly known as OLA.

The owner of the station didn’t know that indeed that Thursday (22 nd ) was going to be a rough day for him, maybe one of the roughest. The County Commissioner, NEMA officials, County environmental office, the Chief, Civil Society, National Environmental Complains Commission and water experts were on his neck. They were all there on behalf of the anonymous residents who were complaining about the ‘ruthlessness’ of the Shreeji owner. Seems like he didn’t expect.

“Malalamiko hii yetu imekuwa huko kwa muda mrefu na tunataka tusuluhishe mara moja na ndio maana tumehusisha wadau wote, maafisa wa kaunti, kamishna wa kaunti, maafisa wa NEMA, maafisa wa tume ya malalamishi ya mazingira, na wataalamu wa maji. Haya malalamishi tunataka yadhibitiwe kisayansi. Malalamishi ni kwamba maji ya Mto Sio unachafuliwa na kituo chako cha mafuta,” Mwenyekiti wa Tume ya Malalamishi ya mazingira alihoji mwenye kituo.

“Okay, so the complains have been there for a long time and we want to solve the matter once and for all and that’s why we have involved all stakeholders, county officers, county commissioner, NEMA officials, National Environmental Complains Commission and water experts. We want the complains to be confirmed scientifically. The complains are that the River Sio water is polluted by your petrol station.” Chairman of NECC.

He totally didn’t see all these coming. Who are these residents? What are their complains? Are they genuine? And of course, is there evidence? All these are the questions that I asked myself. The officers had their demands. They wanted to inspect the station and see the drainage systems and their effectiveness. They said they will take 3 samples for testing which will be done at intervals with different people. The full report will be out after 6 months.

Wait, 6 months is a lot of time for the residents to wait. What if the pollution effect continues to affect them? All the effects or pollution comes from a stream of water which carries all the waste from the Petrol station to innocent River Sio.

I got the privilege to visit the small town of Kanduyi and specifically the area around the Shreeji Petrol Station. My aim was to interview some of the residents around there and get to know if the allegations are true.

The sound of moving water is a clear definition of the sweetness of nature. That’s why NOBODY needs to interrupt the peace of nature. This Shreeji guy just decided to violate this and that’s why the lovers of nature can never take that lightly.

“This is not a laughing matter, this is a serious matter which can result in closing of this petrol station immediately, so take it serious.” NECC officer told the owner.

I’ll be following up to see whether the people’s complains will be considered and if justice will be served right by the ‘environmental fighters’

Story by Calvin Angatia


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