The establishment of a sisal processing and exporting company in Nyatike, Migori County seven years ago was embraced by locals and farmers who had nowhere to take their farm produce.
Al’ Naqel company owned by foreign investors has boosted the economy of the region alongside fishing, gold mining and rice cultivation with the latter being the predominant activity.
Despite the gains the locals now want the company closed down over alleged gross violations of human rights and labor laws Nyatike locals claim the investors has not given them an opportunity to have shares there and they have no clue who the board of directors are and efforts to dialogue with the investors over the same umpteenth time have always hit a snag.
A meeting that brought together local administrators, the community members and the company’s managers became chaotic as locals verbally attacked the foreign investors and accused them of sexual exploitation of their employees.
They also claimed waste disposal management from the company is very poor and this has resulted to incessant air and water pollution. Led by William Beta, the residents say industrial wastes find their way into the lake causing skin and stomach infections.
However, the company through their operations Manager Erick Migudi dismissed the allegations terming them as farfetched lies meant to taint the reputation of the company.
He further stated that the company is an equal opportunity employer and they do so on merit. The top management of the company however said that they will look into the issues the community is complaining about .
By Basil Okoth