CALL TO GOVERNMENT

Quarry owners call upon government to support the sector

In Summary

• In 2015, Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua noted the need to improve roads in Mavoko and promised to tarmac the Syokimau, Katani, Kinanie, Lukenya roads.

• The quarrying sector has been of great impact to the manufacturing and housing pillars of the President’s Big Four agenda.

Workers at a quarry.
Workers at a quarry.
Image: FILE

Quarries in the Mlolongo, Katani area are calling on the government to improve the local roads accessing the quarries.

“Long distance covered to access the quarry affects business as the price we negotiate with the customer does not cover long routes we use to access the quarry,” said Jeremiah Nzioka, Kenya Association of Manufacturers representative in the quarry sub-sector, Lower Eastern region.

“Sometimes we have to go all the way to Athi river and find a route to get to Katani which uses a lot of fuel yet we can't pass down the cost to the consumer hence incurring losses,” Nzioka added.

 
 

In 2015, Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua noted the need to improve roads in Mavoko and promised to tarmac the Syokimau, Katani, Kinanie, Lukenya roads.

Jeremiah said they are still waiting on the Machakos county boss to fulfill his promise.

Quarry owners in the area have however had to do road rehabilitation from their own pockets in the meantime by putting murram on the roads to make the roads more accessible.

They are also calling on the local government in the area to ensure proper zoning of land within the quarry area as people are being sold land near the quarry sites.

Developers near the quarry area also pose a great challenge as they sometimes block the roads accessing the quarries.

According to NEMA Integrated National land-use guidelines quarries should be 100m from any shopping center, school and hospital and 50m from house irrespective of consent from the owner.

The quarrying sector has been of great impact to the manufacturing and housing pillars of the President’s big four agenda.

 
 

According to CEIC Data, the mining and quarrying sector contributed Sh17.3billion to the country’s GDP in the first quarter of 2019.

Quarries in Katani area produced materials that were used in the construction of various projects such as Konza City, Tatu City, and Two Rivers Mall.

The quarries also supply the Chinese companies who are contracted by the government to construct the roads and the Standard Gauge Railway.

The Machakos county government also collects a minimum of Sh2 million daily in revenue from the quarry sites as they collect Sh2,000 per truck with a minimum of 800 trucks collecting material from the sites.

The quarry owners in giving back to the community have drilled boreholes in the area to provide water for the Katani community.

They have also planned a medical camp set for the end of July.

"The government should respond to the call from the quarry sector as it is key in achieving the President’s big four agenda," Nzioka said.