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Mandera quarries closure retarding development

Leaders in Mandera County have appealed to the government to lift the ban on quarrying activities in the region citing slow development pace.

Area  Governor,  Ali  Roba  while speaking in a Garissa hotel during the recent pastoralist leadership summit that brought together 15 ASAL counties appealed to Deputy President (DP), William  Ruto who was present, to personally intervene on the matter.

The DP promised to intervene on the matter, adding that it was never the intention of government to sabotage the economy of its own citizens.

The governor said the closure has had a multiple impact on the residents, leading to massive job losses among the people, who directly and indirectly depended on the quarry activities.

He said the level of unemployment among the local youth has increased tremendously due to the ban, posing a security risk and making the youngsters vulnerable to recruitment in the Al Shabaab ranks.

“The suffering of our people must be an issue of concern to the government particularly in an area where the only economic activity has now been brought to a grinding halt,” said Roba.

The Chairman of the Mandera quarries, Moses Munyiri welcomed the latest development saying that it was long overdue.

He added, “Hardware shops have closed. Lorry operators have packed their vehicles, lorry and matatu drivers have all been fired due to lack of activities as the flow of income was completely grounded,” he said.

Tax operators who also depend on the booming construction industry have ran out of clients.

The quarries were closed down in February last year following rampant Al Shabaab attacks targeting the miners.

By  Dickson  Githaiga

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