NEMA Probes ‘Miscarriage’ Quarry In Kisii

Residents have been lamenting and protested over the damage caused to their houses and other structures by blasts and tremors caused by activities in a quarry in area. The private quarry firm is owned by County 45.

Scores of expectant mothers have reportedly experienced miscarriages because of the quarry activities.

KISII, Kenya, July 2, 2020 – Residents at Nyamonem Village, Bobasi Constituency, in Kisii County had a sigh of relief after National Environmental Management Authority(NEMA) visited the area to confirm taskforce report over damage caused by activities of a private quarry firm in the area.

Residents have been lamenting and protested over the damage caused to their houses and other structures by blasts and tremors caused by activities in a quarry in the area. The private quarry firm is owned by County 45.

Scores of expectant mothers have reportedly experienced miscarriages because of the quarry activities.

Speaking during the inspections of the affected houses and homes, acting Director, Compliance from NEMA Robert Orina said the regulatory agency was following up on the report received from the taskforce on the recommendations they made concerning the quarrying.

However, a cautious Orina said cracks in the houses could manifest due to different reasons and NEMA was yet to establish whether the cracks were caused by the blasts from the quarry or other factors.

He too acknowledged that some villagers were not consulted during the public participation to have the quarry firm allowed to operate in the area. At least 20 houses have been damaged by the blasts removing iron sheets, cracks and creating halls in the irons sheets.

“We are here to verify issues raised in the report and once we conclude, we are going to communicate to the villagers and the quarry owners,” said Orina.

Two people died near the quarry area while mining. However, the director dismissed the claims the cause of death was from the blasts. He added the noise pollution during blasting does not substantiate on claims the villagers have on low yield on dairy animal production.

“Blasting is done once a month and we are not sure if the blasts are causing low yield as the villagers claim, we are not sure if the claims of miscarriages around the area are caused by the blasts,” said Orina.

Bobasi Member of Parliament Innocent Obiri supported the move by NEMA to probe the quarry activities.  “We hope for the best and we trust a fair report will be made and justice will prevail for my people,” said Obiri.

He urged NEMA to speed up with the investigation. He regretted the blasts had caused a lot of damages to the residents. “It’s my hope that NEMA  will come up with a clear report,” Mr Obiri said.

 

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