Unavailability of enough construction stones in Nakuru County was an impediment to the development of real estate in the region as large projects were forced to source for stones from other counties including Nyandarua.
An architect who constructed the KFC fast-food restaurant, James Waithaka, said they were forced to transport their stones from Machakos County since the nearby quarries did not have the quality and quantity of stones they required.
Waithaka said a number of huge projects in the town were slowed down due to the scarcity of stones in the surrounding quarries.
“Doing a huge project in this town is quite frustrating because the transporters have to queue for days before the lorries are loaded with stones at the quarries,” he said.
In 2013, Nakuru Town was declared by the UN as one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and at that time, there were a lot of constructions going on.
The Women Finance Bank is currently constructing a huge mall in the town, but the contractor claimed that they were behind schedule due to the scarcity of stones.
Waithaka said to speed up their work, they have resolved to source for machine carved stones from Kipipiri, and that increased the cost of construction due to transport expenses.
On the other hand, the sourcing of carved stones has rendered local stone diggers jobless and they are bitter their profession has been melted down.
Jackson Ojwang’ who has carved stones for many years, now blames the loss of their jobs and earnings to the new technology which shapes stones using machines.
Stone carving or shaping is an activity where pieces of rough natural stones were shaped by the controlled removal of rough edges. It is a craft which has been used for a long time but technology has now rendered it worthless.
By Veronica Bosibori