•He also noted that the land on which the quarrying activities are undertaken is contested.
•Mamo further added that the nature of quarrying has left gapping pits that if filled with rain water can cause disastrous flooding effects downstream.
The National Environment Management Authority has suspended quarrying activities at Kiabiraa village in Nyamira county over environmental and health risks.
Nema director general Mamo Mamo directed Quick Find Limited to stop the quarrying activities saying despite having a licence, the company had not put in place pollution mitigation measures.
The company mines kaolin which is an ingredient in the manufacturing of ceramics and paints among other products.
“The unmitigated dust levels are a major public health concern to the people living next to the quarry. The site is not properly fenced posing a safety risk to road users especially children from neighbouring institutions,” Mamo in a letter to the company.
Mamo further added that the nature of quarrying has left gapping pits that if filled with rainwater can cause disastrous flooding effects downstream.
He also noted that the land on which the quarrying activities are undertaken is contested.
“The authority hereby suspends all operations at the area until the compliance issues are addressed to the satisfaction of the authority and emerging contentious land issues are resolved," Mamo said.
"Note that failure to comply with this order constitutes an environment offence that is prosecutable.”
He, however, said the company has the right to appeal the restoration order to the National Environment Tribunal if aggrieved by the order.
The director general also said that documents provided by the county government of Nyamira revealed information that was not captured by the environmental impact assessment report submitted to Nema that enabled the company obtain the license.
County Environment and Water CEC John Matiang’i said they sought the intervention of Nema to stop the illegal mining activities.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)