Govt orders closure of quarry following complaints of environmental degradation
The government on Friday ordered the closure of a quarry on the Maai-Mahiu escarpment following complaints of environmental degradation by residents of Namuncha village in Nakuru County.
The orders came after the residents petitioned Environment Principal Secretary Festus Ng’eno at his office. The residents, who belong to the Maasai community, travelled from Nakuru on Friday morning to make their petition against the continued operation of Chen Qing quarry.
After meeting with the peaceful protesters, the PS and National Environment Management Authority (Nema) Director General, Mamo Boru, immediately issued closure orders.
The residents, led by Solomon Saitoti and Ben Kaete, expressed fear of a looming calamity if the quarry is allowed to continue with its activities, which might affect several rivers flowing from the escarpment.
“We have heard your grievances, and we don’t want you to lack water. As we speak, Nema enforcement team is on its way to close the quarry,” Ng’eno said.
The PS also said he would engage both the county governments of Nakuru and Kiambu over the same quarry and how to protect the interest of the community.
Mr Boru said the residents exercised their constitutional right by demonstrating peacefully over the quarry.
“We have dispatched and ordered our officials to close the quarry today and we will sit down later to evaluate the effects that the quarry has caused in the area,” he said.
The residents complained that the quarries have been polluting the environment due to noise, blasts and dust as well as felling of trees, which is putting the Ewaso Kedong River at risk.
The PS lauded the residents for their action as he promised to visit the area soon to access the quarry in question.
He said the government is already in the process of meeting with the community and the Chinese national who is running the quarry which is located on the escarpment in Ndioni village, Ndeiya Location, Limuru Constituency in Kiambu County.
The community members said they have suffered the effects of the upstream quarry which has been in operation for the last five years.