Malawi govt closes Sunseed Oil Company over non compliance to environmental standards

The Environmental Affairs Department has sealed Sunseed Oil Company in Lilongwe for allegedly discharging industrial waste into surrounding village’s gardens and onward to Nafutsa stream thereby endangering communities around it.

free-flowing liquid waste : Maize and other crops coming into contact with the polluted water wilt or dry up

The discharge is a disaster which was supposed to be contained and confined within the company premises, according to waste management laws and rules.

Country Manager of Sunseed Oil Irshaad Mahomed with President Lazarus Chakwera

The department’s environmental inspector Linda Kalolokesya said the Lilongwe-based oil company discharged effluent which were flowing to nearby crop fields.

“We followed the flow of the effluent from the outlet to the field. It covers a distance of over one kilometre. We have been engaging the company to improve. So, we have closed for lack of improvement,” said Kalolokesya.

And communities living close to Sunseed Oil Company said they were wondering while their crops were not growing properly until they linked that to the disposal of effluent.

The department also showed reporters an outlet with effluent from Sunseed Oil premises flowing to nearby crop fields.

Officials said Sunseed Oil Company has been time and again advised  to bring robust containment gulleys and dams within their factory, to fully control the waste.

Deputy director for environmental impact assessment and pollution Shamiso Najira said Sunseed Oil Company committed a number of offences but the major one is that “they are discharging untreated waste water, that also contains oils, direct into the environment, especially people’s farms without any approval from the department which is contrary to Section 60 of the Environmental Management Act (2017), among other sections.”

Najira said this is not the first time Sunseed has been closed for the same offence.

But Sunseed Oil Company managing director Shripad Dabholkar said he is surprised with the department’s decision, claiming the company complied with all requirements, including submitting a performance report and indicating how they were managing their effluent treatment plant.

He said they are ready to comply with the law.

Commentators have commended Environmental Affairs Department for their action on Sunseed Oil Company, saying profit seekers have gotten away with environmental atrocities the laws abhor.

More than 150 villagers in the area are in grave danger of suffering—and even dying—from various diseases, as they are forced to drink what an environmental expert says is heavily-contaminated water.

Section 60 of the Environmental Management Act of 2017 empowers Environmental Affairs Department to close companies that pollute.

Sunseed Oils is a company that manufactures cooking oil such as Mulawe and Sungold. It also manufactures Sunsoap and Mulawe salt.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
16 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kachale
Kachale
10 months ago

People are just jealous coz of the fact that someone is doing well in business. Some mwenyes can’t take it, so they try and spoil it for others. It’s always been the case in Malawi.

Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba
10 months ago

The Environmental Affairs Department as a lead agency leaves a lot to be desired just like many other government ministries and departments. One wonders what the Department of Environmental Affairs is doing about the Ntaya Waste Disposal site near Bunda Turn Off. The place is just an eye sore and the LCC is doing little about it. It is not only this place but also other districts. We seems not to know what to do as public servants. The meaning of being a public servant is to provide services to the people who pay taxes and we do not see… Read more »

laws
laws
10 months ago

Irshaad sopano kkkkkk

Toko
Toko
10 months ago

You guys are jelous thats the bottom line, without knowing u just comment and write shit.

Lethal Agent
10 months ago

Closed the factory? ……wait…….some one has to pay a bribe

Chimwene wa Anabanda ku Joni
Chimwene wa Anabanda ku Joni
10 months ago

Take them to the cleaners

NDDK
NDDK
10 months ago

the Owners or Manufacturers Of Cooking Oil Companies they Never Consume at there Homea there Own Oil Manufactured the Consume
Only Imported Oil from South Africa and Egypt or Turkey because they are aware the Hygiene Conditions of there Own Factories

Kondwani Chisale
Kondwani Chisale
10 months ago

Environmental Agency should also Check Cori Ltd Producers of Kukoma and Biwti Biwti and Sunflower Oil as they also do the same thing at there Factory and even Mount Meru and ETG and Several other small Oil Companies in Malawi should be Checked for the Same

CESSPOOL
CESSPOOL
10 months ago

This type of factory waste flowing into gardens is akin to the Nigerian delta regions suffering from the oil waste covering the entire region. These wastes do create environmental hazards such that the factory owners won’t even think of compensating the victims. These are corporate pirates without any sense of remorse the abharattiya is concerned about the profits not the wastes flooding the maize fields. What structures have these Orientals given to the community in form of social responsibility?

Bwanali
Bwanali
10 months ago

You can see malawians are jealous of others suceeding in life. They comment and belive anything and this guy below writes to boycott.

shares
Read previous post:
Expert urge caution over reopening schools in Malawi

An infectious disease expert has urged great caution over the reopening of schools in Malawi in the face of coronavirus...

Close