ILLEGAL ACTIVITY

Kitui government stops limestone mining in Kyuso

The exercise is carried out by Ndovu Cement Company, which started blasting two years ago.

In Summary
  • Mining activity has led to people's houses cracking following the blasting, schools are destroyed, roads dusty and high noise pollution
  • The plea of residents to the government is to issue a license together with the Nema report to any investor.

The county government of Kitui has stopped mining of limestone at Twimuma, in Kyuso subcounty.

The exercise is carried out by Ndovu Cement Company, which started blasting two years ago allegedly without the consent of the community or the county government.

Locals said the investor came with licenses from Nairobi and started blasting, causing environmental harm to them.

Hiram Kasoni, Twimuma development committee chair, said the community tried asking the local leadership for protocols of mining but they did not succeed. 

"We then wrote a letter to the Ministry of Mining, which directed us to enquire from the county government, “he said

Kasoini added that the investor's mining letter was canceled by the environment ministry in Kitui but he allegedly acquired another letter from Nairobi.

He said the mining activity has led to people's houses cracking following the blasting, schools are destroyed, roads dusty and high noise pollution among other health effects.

The plea of residents to the government is to issue a license together with the Nema report to any investor.

"We also want to know where the cutline is, where exactly the minerals are deposited and knowabout compensation," he stated.

Area MCA Stephen Kivunzi Musili said as local leaders they will not allow any investor to humiliate locals regardless of where he has acquired his license from.

Musili said the investor ought to follow all regulations regarding mining activity.

"The local content ought to be utilized to ensure locals benefit from this natural resource," he said.

He also decried adverse effects of mining, stating it has to stop until the investor follows all set guidelines among them corporate social responsibility.

Patrick Musau said the exercise was illegal as the company had not done any CSR and did not have any permit from the county government. 

The exercise was stopped until the investor liaised with the community and adhered to CSR requirements such as constructing new schools,  roads and boreholes.

The minister also directed the investor to install a limestone processing plant in the area in order to create job opportunities for locals other than transporting the mined materials to Nairobi for processing.

Koki urged locals to have a meeting and agree on how much they will sell their pieces of land, which they are currently selling at Sh150,000 per acre.