Mandera quarries closed for rehabilitation

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has closed all quarries in Mandera County.

Mandera County Director of Environment (CDE) Josiah Nyandoro said business at the quarries had been stopped until owners refill open pits left earlier during mining.

The CDE spoke at a meeting with Mandera East Deputy County Commissioner Lawrence Omondi and area chiefs.

Mr. Omondi asked the chiefs to enforce the order and arrest miners who violate the directive.

The Mandera quarries have in the last three years been a focus of attention after Al- Shabaab militants raided them killing miners as they slept in the quarries.

The government banned stone mining at night in 2014, after 36 miners were killed by Al-Shabaab militants at a Koromey quarry.

The DCC said it was high time the government protected its citizens and livestock from health problems emanating from the open pits.

He said the pits are a health hazard as stagnant water had filled the pits making them a breeding environment for mosquitoes.

Nyandoro noted that livestock fall in the pits dying and thus causing losses to residents.

He warned that any person operating the quarries without inspection will be prosecuted.

The Mandera stone mines have attracted many job seekers from other parts of Kenya due to attractive pay. But the miners are always at the risk of attack from the Al-Shabaab militants.

Source: Kenya News Agency