The newly-opened Kerio River fluorspar processing plant in Northern Kenya has been accused of polluting the Kimwarer River with its industrial waste.
GV Cattle and sheep being herded by boy along hillside tract
GV Cows drinking from water in settling pond
SV Man laying explosive charges into ore rock (3 shots)
GV Explosion in valley
GV Fluorspar plant
SV PAN Mechanical shovel loading ore into factory bay
GV AND SV Ore being carried along conveyor belt, being inspected and graded by machines (4 shots)
GV PAN Red affluent from factory flowing into Kimwarer River
CU Red effluent polluting river (2 shots)
GV Children on bank PAN TO Polluted water
Initials CL/1940 CL/2000
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Background: The newly-opened Kerio River fluorspar processing plant in Northern Kenya has been accused of polluting the Kimwarer River with its industrial waste. The processing plant belongs to the Fluorspar Company of Kenya Limited whose majority shareholder is the Government-owned Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation.
The fluorspar deposits developed by the processing plant lie in Northern Kenya's Kerio Valley and are considered to be among the largest deposits in the world. Fluorspar is essential to the chemical and metallurgical industries and is exported by Kenya to many countries including Japan, the U.S.A., the Soviet Union and Europe.
The Member of Parliament for the Kerio River District, Mr. Simon Kurgat, and several other MPS have accused the Kerio River processing plant of polluting river water and poisoning cows and wildlife. The processing plant has denied the allegations and the Kenyan Government authorities are studying the problem.
SYNOPSIS: Kenya is one of the more prosperous agricultural countries in Africa and its people have tended their herds of sheep and cattle since time immemorial.
But since independence Kenya has stepped into the modern world and is developing its mines and industries as quickly as possible. Many of the engineers and skilled workmen doing these jobs have been trained in Kenya by Kenyans.
One of Kenya's major exports today is Fluorspar which is exported to many countries including Japan, the United States, the Soviet Union and Europe. The richest Fluorspar deposits in the country are found in the Kerio Valley. The valley, which lies in Northern Kenya, has proven ore reserves of six million tons with another probable four million tons in reserve. The deposits were originally discovered about fifteen year ago by the local people. They are now being processed by a processing plant owned mainly by the Kenyan Government.
Fluorspar is essential to the chemical and metallurgical industries. But development of the Kerio Valley reserves is threatened because of possible river pollution.
The local MP for the Kerio River Valley has accused the processing plant of so polluting the Kimwarer River that cows and even crocodiles have died after drinking from it. However, the processing plant has denied the allegations and Government experts are still studying the problem.