Monday, April 6, 2020

A photo of an open quarry site. According to the NEMA regulations, quarry miners  are supposed to prevent pollution ,control blasting, soil erosion, rehabilitate excavated areas, and ensure dust control.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has closed down a quarry in Mukunike area in Kilimambogo, Thika East Sub-county- Kiambu County, following a public outcry, that it was endangering lives of locals.

NEMA directed Chinese firm Synohydro Corporation Ltd, which operates the site to stop operations until they mitigate the effects of blasts from explosives that they use and the resultant dust pollution.

The move by NEMA to close down the quarry which has been operating in the area for three years also comes as residents held demonstrations last week protesting over destruction of their houses by stones from the site, kilometers away, with some stating the stones missed landing on them by metres.

The area residents had also complained of chest pains and breathing complications caused by dust from the site.

NEMA Kiambu County Director, Daniel Nyamora said the company will only be allowed to continue with operations after complying with NEMA rules and regulations.

“The company should stop operations until they mitigate the blasts and also on dust pollution. Then, we shall visit the site to monitor compliance before the company can be allowed to continue with operations”, said Nyamora.

Nyamora was speaking when a team led by Kiambu Deputy County Commissioner, Thomas Sankei, and county government officials and the area Member of Parliament (MP), Patrick Wainaina’s representative visited the site.

Sankei said the quarry had been a nuisance to the community and that it had been closed four times before, but found its way into operation again.

Residents led by Chairman Mukunike squatters, Paul Kimanyi, complained that their houses had developed huge cracks from the blasts.

A Machine crashes ballast at the site. area residents complained of destruction of houses and health complications

“The dust, noise, health concerns and property destruction has gotten in this community has become unbearable. We have fruitlessly engaged the company managers who have turned out to be arrogant. We are tired; we want this quarry closed to restore our peace. The quarry actually does not help us since the owners have imported workers,” said Kimanyi.

 

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