Government of Malawi – through its Malawi Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) – on Wednesday ordered closure of business at Mount Meru Millers in Lilongwe over noncompliance with environmental regulations.
MEPA and a renowned environmental journalist Matthews Malata, confirmed the development in an interview on Thursday.
Malata said a team of inspectors from MEPA visited the site where they had protracted conversations with company’s senior representatives before ordering its sealing.
However, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sourav Argarwal did not grant journalists an interview as he could not pick up his phone when he was called several times.
MEPA’s Deputy Director General Michael Makonombera said communities around the factory asked authorities to intervene and address the pollution, which was posing serious environmental and health threats to them.
Makonombera said they inspected the company on 17th January, issued an order including a fine of MK5 million on 23rd January 2023.
“But to date, the company had not paid the fine and most of the noncompliance issues were not resolved. In addition to the K5 million fine, the company will be charged K100, 000 daily effective today until all issues are resolved. This is because they did not comply with the first order,” Makonombera stated.
MEPA has since advised well-meaning Malawians to always inform them of any issues requiring their attention through their toll free line number 5153.
Movement for Environmental Action (MEA) projects lead Inno D’Thalie Sandram has hailed MEPA for the action taken.
Sandram has also encouraged MEPA to be more vigilant and deal with other companies who are also operating in the country with no respect to the environment.