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Murang’a miners protest the closure of a quarry

By Wangari Njuguna
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
In summary

Quarry miners from Kandundu area in Murang'a have protested the move by the county government to close down the mines.

Hundreds of miners who have camped at the cite say the move has denied them a source of income and its becoming hard to put a plate of food on the table for their families.

Peter Nyamai, one of the quarry managers claims that the County through the Public Health Department issued an order to have quarries closed down immediately.

He said for the past one week, operations at the mines have been grounded and this is making them incur huge losses.

Nyamai said the public health officials had cited lack of perimeter walls, encroachment of the road, piling of quarry waste, lack of sanitation facilities at the cite as some the reasons why they wanted the mines closed down.

He however said the notice given to them to comply was too short and they should have been given more time.

"We have about 20 quarries here and on a daily basis, they generate between Sh2. 5 million to Sh3 million," he said.

"The county government also gets not less than Sh350, 000 as revenue from the lorries which come to collect the stones," added Nyamai.

He appealed to the officials to reconsider their move and open the quarry saying they have already complied with most of the requirements.

Benard Maina, one of the miners said they are camping at the site on a daily basis hoping they will get a green light to resume the operation.

"This is where we get our daily bread and with no other source of income it is becoming hard for us to feed our families," he said.

Public health officer Alex Karanja moved to court to obtain an order to have the quarries closed down.
He said the move was to ensure the miners observe the safety measures are required by the guidelines provided by the National Environment Management Authority.

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