Kenya court orders $12m payout for lead poisoning


A Kenyan judge has awarded $12m ($9.6m) to a community that suffered from lead poisoning from a battery smelting plant.

The court case came about as a result of work done by Phyllis Omido, a resident of the slum settlement of Owino Uhuru, which is in Mombasa on Kenya’s coast.

As an employee at the plant, she was inspired to act after her baby son was diagnosed with lead poisoning.

Her young son became very ill after she had been working at the plant for three months.

After tests, doctors discovered that he was suffering from lead poisoning that could have been passed through his mother’s breast milk.

She found that other community members had similar problems and finally got the plant shut down in 2014.

But Ms Omido went to court in 2016 to get the government to clean up the area and pay compensation to the families of those who had died or were made sick from the lead.

As well as the money, Justice Ann Omollo ordered the authorities to get rid of the remaining lead, the Daily Nation reports.

Journalist John-Allan Namu, who has been following the case, says that various government agencies will have to fund most of the $12m pay out.