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For environmental hazard…

EPA investigates SLBL

April 19, 2018 By Elizabeth A. Kaine

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Sierra Leone Brewery Limited, one of the leading beverage producers in the country, is currently being investigated by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for allegations of environmental pollution of a stream in Motokoh community.

Speaking during a press conference at brewery in Wellington, east Freetown, Assistant Deputy Director of Policies at EPA, Brian Forster, said they have commenced the investigation after journalists reported excessive odor from a particular drainage in the Motokoh community in Wellington, at the back of brewery.

He told journalists that they had visited the community on 13th March, without notifying the Sierra Leone Brewery Company, to access the alleged environmental pollution and to speak to community people.

He revealed that during a follow up visit, they invited both the management of the company and some community stakeholders to visit the drainage, adding that during a third visit, they invited some journalists to witness the release of the water into the drainage from the factory.

He said they were yet to complete their investigation as they continue to monitor the beverage company, adding that if they are found wanting the law would take its course.

Responding to the allegation, Corporate Affairs Manager at the Sierra Leone Brewery Company, Albert Ojo Collier, said management of the company takes their environmental responsibility with utmost importance and told reporters that the company complies with all the environmental laws and regulations.

Collier noted that in compliance with the recommendation of EPA and in alignment with their environment policy, they have invested over four million Euros on a state-of-the-art Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) to treat their processed waste water before discharging it into the nearby stream.

He asserted that the plant itself, which is first of its kind in Sierra Leone, has modern equipment and meets international standards, adding that it is fully operational and discharges water into the environment in full compliance with both national standards required by the EPA and international standards.

Unisa Sesay, Public Relation Officer at SLBL, noted that had been certified by the EPA with an Environmental Impact Assessment License, in line with statutory regulations to operate and that they monitor how the plant functions on a daily basis.

Newly elected councilor in the community, Osman Kamara, said he was aware that the brewery has been helping the community greatly but vowed to protect the lives of people in the community.

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