The National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA) in Narok County has arrested eleven people over illegal quarrying in Narok town and its environs.
Narok County NEMA director Fanuel Mosago said the eleven are the owners of the quarry that operates without licenses and does not adhere to the regulations set by the government on quarrying.
Mosago, who spoke at his office minutes after making the arrest, said the eleven will be prosecuted in a court of law where they will be charged with quarrying without an environmental impact assessment license.
The arrests, he said, were made at Kwanjonjo, Morijo and Pulung’a areas reiterating that the crackdown exercise will continue until the quarry owners adhere to regulations set by the government.
Mosago added that the crackdown follows an outcry by the members of the public who claimed that the impact of locally made bombs used at the quarry was causing cracks on their houses.
“This is a warning to those who do such illegal jobs that their days are numbered as we will not allow any illegal quarry to continue operating,” he continued.
He underscored the need for a close working relationship between the County Government’s Department of Environment and the Ministry of Interior to ensure that order is restored in the quarrying sector.
So far, he said, only one quarry at Siyiabei area in Narok East Sub County is licensed in the entire county raising questions on the existence of so many quarries in the county.
Mosago revealed that some of the regulations include use of protective gear for quarry workers and erecting signs of appropriate font sizes and language at all quarry entries to warn passers-by of dangerous flying debris and deep pits.
The rules also demand that all quarry faces and cliffs be fenced and the fence should be at least three metres away from the edge of the cliff.
By Ann Salaton