• Mandera Governor Ali Roba has lauded a high court decision that lifted a ban on quarrying in the region.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba has lauded the High Court decision that lifted a ban on quarrying in the region.
Quarrying was banned in March last year as the government moved to end mass killings of the miners by militants targetting non-local workers.
Addressing the quarry workers in Mandera town on Monday, Roba said quarrying is a major economic activity for residents. He said the ban negatively affected all sectors of the economy.
He directed that the quarries be opened at 8 am and closed before 4 pm to avoid a recurrence of the killings witnessed in 2014 and 2016. More than 70 miners quarry workers were shot dead by al Shabaab militants during the attacks.
He asked quarry owners to train local workers on mining skills so they can replace non-Muslim workers who are often targeted by the terrorists.
"I want you to be extra vigilant and supplement the national government security efforts by providing two extra patrol vehicles to strengthen security and ensure the mines are not closed again," Roba said.
Security chiefs said the court and quarry owners will be held liable if militants attack the mines again.
“In case of any killings, the Garissa High court that lifted the ban and the quarry owners who went to court should be held liable," Mandera county commissioner Kutswa Olaka told the Star in an interview last week.
Olaka said the government was working to strengthen security in the mines. He said the quarry owners were not doing enough to protect workers.