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MEPA penalizes Mapeto, others for non-compliance

By Memory Kutengule Chatonda

Blantyre, March 5: Malawi Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has issued environmental protection orders and administrative penalties of K3 million each to four companies in Blantyre for non-compliance with environmental standards in accordance with the Environment Management (EMA) Act of 2017.

The companies include ZY Investment at Mapanga in Blantyre, which has been penalized for failing to conduct an environmental compliance audit and raising the chimney while AUHAD Steel Manufacturer (Pvt) has been given 14 days to pay K3 million for failing to conduct an environmental compliance audit after being ordered to do so.

Mapeto David White and Sons and FASA Product Limited have also been fined K3 million each for failing to take measures to avoid or mitigate damage to the environment.

The Authority has also issued environmental protection orders to Africa Dairy Limited to stop all actions or conduct which cause, contribute or are likely to cause or contribute to pollution.

Speaking after the exercise on Saturday, MEPA Acting Director General Tawonga Mbale Luka said the orders and penalties follow the inspection exercise which was conducted last year to several companies in Blantyre to assess their compliance levels on EMA.

“There were some recommendations that were made in terms of actions the companies must undertake to deal with issues of pollution and other non-compliances that were identified during the inspection exercise. So this was a follow up inspection to check if they have complied with the issues that were instructed to do.

“However, we have noted that some companies have complied with the measures given while some have not fully complied hence giving them administrative penalties of K3 million,” she said.

Luka then advised the companies to comply with the penalties and orders given, saying failure to do so shall lead to further enforcement action in accordance with the provisions of EMA.

Commenting on the matter, FASA Product Limited Public Relations Officer Stewarts Kumwembe said the company is ready to pay the fine and also comply to every order that will be issued to them by MEPA, including conducting environmental audits on regular basis.

Africa Dairy Limited Administrative Officer Lawson Chigwenembe also welcomed the order and pledged to do everything possible to address the problem.

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