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Quarries closed for posing danger to miners

Several quarries in Kwale County have been ordered closed by the authorities due to environmental and safety concerns.
Area County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo said the temporary closures will allow the relevant authorities to reassess the issues and lay down measures to the quarry miners.
“We are temporarily closing the quarries until the concern about safety issues are properly addressed,” said Ngumo.
The order comes barely a week after two persons were killed and two others injured after large pieces of rock fell on labourers working at a stone quarry at Maweni area of Ukunda Township in Msambweni Sub-County.
The latest incident also happened two months after a woman was also buried alive crushing stones at the ill-fated quarry.
Speaking Monday Ngumo said owners of unregulated quarries have been directed to stop work on such sites.
The County commissioner said that several unregulated quarries pose danger to miners and those living nearby.
Kwale county director of the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), Geoffrey Wafula and the county geologist Fredrick Wafula visited the site and announced that the functioning of other unregulated quarries in the region will also be probed.
Geoffrey said they have embarked on visiting several mining sites across the coastal county to ensure security at mining sites.
The NEMA official also blamed small scale quarry owners in the region for land degradation and failure to rehabilitate the quarries when they are exhausted.
By Hussein Abdullahi

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