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NEMA threatens to shut dirty Kilifi mines

NEMA threatens to shut dirty Kilifi mines

  • Nehemiah Okwembah 27th Dec 2019 00:00:00 GMT +0300

A sinkhole threatens to cut off the Dzitsoni- Jaribuni road at Marere village in Ganze Sub County on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. Villagers claim that the sinkhole is a result of improper mining activities in the area. [Nehemiah Okwembah, Standard]

The National Environmental Complaints Committee has threatened to shut down mining operations at Jaribuni area in Ganze Sub County for environmental degradation and exploitation. Committee Secretary Dr John Chumo directed environmentalists, geologists, hydrologists, and soil scientists to form a committee of inquiry to investigate the allegations. Dr Chumo also called on the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to regularly inspect the operations of the mining companies to ensure they meet all Nema standards. “A meeting should be organised that will bring together residents and miners and all other stakeholders to address the issue raised here,” he said during a tour of the area. The tour extended to depleted iron ore quarries at Mbudzi village and ballast quarry where workers work under inhumane conditions. The workers use hoes and do not use protective gear such as aprons, gloves and masks. The area is also marked by a huge depression caused by continuous mining and houses can be seen hanging at the edge of the depressions, with children playing near it.

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The activities of the mining companies had led to formations of sink holes at Marere village along the Ditzoni-Jaribuni road and at the adjacent Marere Primary School. Khadija Suleiman, a mother of seven, said she has been working at the mine for five years in order to feed the family and educate her children. “It is a tiresome work and in order to meet my demands, I have to extract a maximum of 15 wheelbarrows of iron ore in a day whereby each wheelbarrow cost Sh80,” said Ms Suleiman. Those working at the mines and land owners do not have permits and have been selling the iron ore to brokers at Sh80 per wheelbarrow. Jaribuni Ward MCA Masha Maitha said the effects of environmental degradation and pollution has affected more than 20,000 people in Jaribuni Ward.

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