Thursday, December 3, 2020
Kisumu County NEMA boss Tom Togo addressing the media in Kisumu on measures taken to curb wanton sand harvesting in the area. Photo;Courtesy

Kisumu County NEMA boss Tom Togo addressing the media in Kisumu on measures taken to curb wanton sand harvesting in the area. Photo;Courtesy

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has banned sand harvesting in Kisumu to control wanton destruction of the environment in the area.

Sand harvesters have been issued with environmental restoration orders and shall be required to apply for licenses from the County Environment Committee before being allowed to operate.
 Kisumu County NEMA boss Tom Togo said the Authority was working in collaboration with the county government and Ministry of interior to enforce the directive warning those who flout the ban of dire consequences.
 “Anybody found engaging in sand harvesting during the ban without a license risks up to four years in jail, a fine not exceeding Sh. 2 million or both,” he warned.
The move, he said, was occasioned by rampant large scale sand harvesting by unlicensed individuals and companies who have degraded rivers, lake shores and encroached on critical installations.
Togo was speaking in Kisumu when he addressed members of the media, he pointed out sand harvesting on roads and along power lines which has left electrical posts hanging exposing people to danger.
He said the practice was rampant in Kanyakwar, Nyando, Usoma and Kisumu west areas where those involved have been issued with restoration orders.
 Rapid urbanization and construction boom being experienced in Kisumu, he said was to blame for the large scale sand mining adding that the ban was meant to restore order and protect the environment.
The measures, he added, shall extend to murrum harvesters and those operating quarries to safeguard the environment.
“We are not banning sand harvesting to lock anybody out of business but we want the practice to be conducted in a manner that is not harmful to the environment,” he said.
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