The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) shut down MacDonald Bricks firm in Bulawayo at the weekend because it emitted toxic smoke and dust, the agency spokesperson Steady Kangata said yesterday.
The company was ordered to introduce mechanisms to reduce dust and smoke emissions from its plant before it could re-open.
The plant is located near Cement Siding along the Bulawayo-Harare Road.
“Industrial sites that deal with brick moulding often emit excessive pollution when baking bricks in ovens and sometimes there is dust that is harmful to the environment,” he said.
“As EMA, we have ordered MacDonald Bricks to cease operation of active brick baking as their ovens release extensive smoke. We want them to adhere to this order as it will enhance their business and protect the environment.
“We don’t want them to bake bricks until they find a way of reducing that air pollution, but sorting bricks and selling them is another issue which is not of any concern to us,” he said.
Contacted for comment, the firm’s managing director Lonely Nyathi was reluctant to discuss the issue, insisting they had presented EMA with a plan to address the pollution concerns.
Workers at the plant yesterday morning accused their management of dilly-dallying over the issue, claiming they received an Ema warning two weeks ago but ignored it.
“The problem is that EMA advised in time that the firm should find ways of reducing emissions, but nothing has been done in light of the warning,” said an employee who declined to be named.