Quarrying has been an essential part of construction since the dawn of time and in some ways, its guiding principles have been preserved over hundreds of years. However, challenges facing quarry owners in Kisumu County are changing and the debate on environmental impact of quarrying continues.
Kisumu County Ministry Environment, Water, Natural Resources and Climate Change Subcommittee on Natural Resources is looking towards balancing production requirements with the available resources to restore exhausted quarry sites.
In highlighting environmental challenges within Kisumu County, the changing nature of legislation, employment practices and the introduction of technology practiced globally are all impacting activities in quarries. The abandoned quarries had been cited as a risk to the community causing death, inhabiting mosquitos and contributing to soil erosion around the sites of harvests.
In a meeting chaired by the CEC for Environment, Water, Natural resources and climate change, Mr. Salmon Orimba, quarry owners will share their environmental plan for restoration with the committee. “We are hope that this conversation will not end at this point, but will be taken to the next level where we continuously engage and carry out an annual environmental audit to comply with the laid down requirements.”
As the committee engages quarry owners, there is a wide range of areas covered on quarry sites across the County. For example, Kisumu Concrete Products is a large mechanized mine with a large production capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day in the outskirts of Kisumu. The mine produces raw materials for road construction and building materials.
In Kedowa and Raroki lies a pile of volcanic rocks for construction similar to those on the roadside from Muhuroni to Londiani. In most areas when travelling from Homabay to Kendu Bay, Makasembo and Kisian notable is a sandstone quarry where bricks are being cut or a crushing Plant and Precast Yard.
For the exhausted quarries, the County aims to restore the sites and plant trees in an effort to combat environmental dangers posed to the immediate communities living near mines. Participants in the conversation included representatives from NEMA, Kisumu County Ministry of Environment and quarry owners from Urban Singh, Ndugu Transport and Kisumu Concrete among others.