The County Government of Kajiado will shut down 90% of quarries for subverting environmental regulations.
According to a report by Business Daily on Thursday, March 5, over 200 quarries employing an estimated 30,000 people will be closed after they were found to not adhere to the required safety measures.
Kajiado County Executive Committee member for Water and Environment Michael Semera indicated that the decision on closure was arrived at following an audit on the sites in collaboration with the National Environment Management Authority (Nema).
The audit was undertaken following numerous complaints by residents, who cited pollution from the quarries.
"During the audit, we discovered most quarries do not have any plan to refill the ground after mining building materials.
"Some quarries use heavy blasting despite being located near residential homes. They do not have any safety precautions towards their workers," Semera stated.
"The owners of the quarries have been notified to comply within seven days or face closure. Most of these non-gazetted quarries are disasters in waiting," he added.
Semera noted that it was the role of the county government to provide a conducive environment to investors as well as protect her people in the process.
The county has a high number of quarries employing thousands of people and providing construction material for the larger Nairobi metropolitan area.
Nema's quarry health and safety guidelines require that every operator have an EIA licence, which bears conditions to protect neighbours from dust, noise and other nuisance related to the extraction activities among other conditions.
To set up the quarries, developers are required by law to undertake rigorous consultation before they can be presented with a licence to operate. County governments are, however, responsible for zonation and business licensing.
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