About 3000 workers depending on Kwale international sugar company might lose their jobs if fire incidents continue to burn cane farms leaving the company with nothing to crush for sugar production in Kwale.
The company has so far lost over 100 hectares of sugar cane farms to an inferno worth 200 million shillings in Msambweni.
The recent fire burnt about 100 hectares of cane farms at Kinondo and Jego before the Kwale county government and Kiscol fire engines intervened.
Kwale international sugar company General Manager Pamela Ogada says that the cane fire is badly affecting the company’s operations since they depend on sugar cane to crush sugar production.
“There were three fire incidents but the worst one has been in Kinondo where we lost about 100 hectares of canes farm translating to 6000 tons of canes which is equal to 600 tons of sugar worth 36 million worth of revenue,” she told Coast Times Digital.
She said that the fire incidents are bringing down the company which has over 3000 workers who depend on it.
”So far we have lost canes converted into sugar to 200 million so it is a big loss and it is bringing the company down, the county and Kenya because so many people depend on this firm. We have about 3000 people depending on this firm so extended to their families, community and business around they are all affected,” she added.
She said that they are waiting for police to investigate so that the people behind the intermittent fire can be known for a lasting solution.
Kwale International Sugar Company Community relations manager Mathias Mutua said that they are yet to get the arsonists who started the fire adding that the issue is hurting their business.
“It is very serious because we do not know who is burning and his or her intention. It is better if we get to know it so that we can address it. If it is a problem coming from us we can address it but we want locals around to tell us. We have involved chiefs and local administration to help us find the problem but nothing so far,” he said.
Mutua said that the closure of the firm will be detrimental to about 90 per cent of workers who are locals from Msambweni.
“If we have no canes to crush for sugar production then it will mean workers will be laid off and that will affect locals around badly,” he said.
They want the county government and national governments to intervene in ensuring a lasting solution to the intermittent fires.