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Unregulated sand harvesting causing environmental damage

Residents of Wang’chieng ward in Karachuonyo constituency, Homa bay County have urged the government to curb unregulated sand harvesting in the area.

The residents led by Bentar Odoyo who addressed the press in Homa-Bay town Monday lamented that illegal sand harvesting had caused environmental damage leading to destruction of roads.

“We’ve had several problems with sand harvesting, it has destroyed our roads and they are now impassable, said Adoyo.

The residents also added that sand harvesting had caused deep gullies in the area endangering lives.

“Sand harvesting has in the recent past led to the death of three children in separate incidents and it will continue to kill others if illegal harvesting continues,” Odoyo expressed.

She said that the area becomes dangerous especially when it rains as water fills gullies which become death traps.

Wangchieng location Chief Amianus Osano told sand harvesters to apply for permits from the National Environmental Management Authority who will carry out environmental impact assessment before issuing licenses.

“Illegal sand harvesting has brought a lot of problems within the location. It has led to several deaths,” observed Osano.

The administrator also raised concerns that illegal sand harvesting was affecting education in the area as school children were getting drawn to sand harvesting activities.

During a recent visit to the area, Rachuonyo North Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Aron Kross acknowledged the problems that the residents are facing and that they are looking for ways to address the issue.

Kross said that together with NEMA team and the county government, they will come up with a away to address the issues concerning sand harvesting.

By Otieno Angela and Davis Langat

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