By Julie Badui Owa – EMTV News, Lae
The Lae City Council’s Health Division has confirmed that a sausage factory at the center of a pollution complaint did not have a proper waste disposal system and is currently in breach of the City’s zoning laws.
The Director of the Health Division, Jonathan Ipang, conducted an inspection on the site where they found further breaches of health regulations. The company was told to operate again on the 14th of May by an officer from the Lae City Council Health Division without an official permission notice. Mr. Ipang said the officer will be suspended.
This is the fourth inspection this year on Wong Sheng Limited. The Company has been dumping factory waste into the nearby waterway. Residents nearby have been complaining about the waste over four years. The City council only took heed of the problem after intense media attention over the last three months. The Factory was ordered to shut on the 17th of April. They resumed operation but were reported to the City council.
This morning the Director of the City’s health Division conducted another inspection. The Chinese owners of the sausage factory were ordered to open the Freezer, inside, old unsold sausages were stacked in unsanitary conditions exposed to contamination. The meat, much of it discolored, were still being kept ready for any future operations, sausage mixes, flour and other ingredients were still held in buckets. When the factory was in operation, the goods were sold in shops in the city. They even sold meat products to other provinces.
According to the inspections, the factory was operating illegally. It was built at the wrong place trading without a license and didn’t have permit to operate as a factory.
Ipang warned the company to remain closed and admitted to some of his officers receiving bribes. The company management said off camera that an officer from the Lae City Council told them to operate without an official permit after the company was ordered to close on the 17th of April. Mr. Ipang said those involved will be given termination notices after the management meets next week.