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The Plight of Workers at Waridi Nuts Processing Plant in Kilifi

Waridi Nuts

Workers at Kilifi-based Waridi Nuts processing show their blemished hands [p/courtesy: Daniel Faraja on Twitter]

Casual workers at a Kilifi-based cashew nut processing plant have faulted its management for not adhering to health and safety guidelines.

Speaking to a local independent journalist, they accused the firm situated in Tezo Sub-Location of faili ng to provide the necessary equipment and safety gear, leaving them exposed to harmful oils with a deadly effect on their hands and skin.

Their shocking revelations came hours after a concerned Kenyan on social media started a conversation regarding the topic.

The Twitter user identified as Daniel Faraja had bumped into two workers at the company trading as “Waridi Nuts” and felt compelled to highlight their sad predicament.

In a thread of tweets, he shared unsettling photos showing the horrendous extent of damage to their hands; the fingers most affected.

The burns are caused by a chemical substance that is produced when obtaining the kern out of the cashew nut’s outer shell.

They do this by boiling the nuts, which is against the standard process where the nuts are roasted so that the oil burns up to reduce health hazards.

But the greedy owners of Waridi Nuts are hell-bent on harvesting every drop of oil at the expense of the well-being of their entire workforce.

To make matters worse, during a video interview with YouTube content creator “Ananda TV”, one worker revealed that the company pays them meagre wages of as little as Sh30 per day.

This amount varies depending on the weight of the cashew nut produced.

Waridi Nuts pays them Sh6 per kilogram, with a daily target of 5 kilograms for every worker.

Mark you, they do not recompense them for extracting the oils, which are separately sold at ridiculous prices.

The greedy owners sell the same cashew nut at Sh1,500 per kilogram.

The oils sell for as much as Sh4,000 for each 500ml bottle.

Reacting to the story, netizens have called on both local and international labour organizations to look into the matter and guide the helpless employees in seeking compensation and to ensure the processing plant complies and gives these workers the appropriate gear to carry out their work.

Some advised the workers to report the incident at the nearest Directorate Of Occupational Safety And Health Services (Doshs) office so the matter can be escalated to relevant authorities.

Section 14 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2007 of Kenya states that employers are required by law to ensure a safe working environment and prevent accidents and injuries related to work, including protection from chemical hazards that could damage hands.

Check out the full interview below.

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