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February 22, 2018

Ban on sand, charcoal trade to stay – Ngilu

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu with former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama in Mulango ward on Saturday /MUSEMBI NZENGU
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu with former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama in Mulango ward on Saturday /MUSEMBI NZENGU

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu on Saturday stood firm on her resolve to curtail  charcoal production  and sand harvesting.
She has cited unredeemable environmental damage the activities cause. Ngilu reiterated her unwavering stand on charcoal and sand ban. She said she is ready to go to any lengths to protect Kitui county from environment degradation.
The governor attended the burial of county worker Michael Musambi at Kilukuya village, Mulango ward, Kitui Central. The Kitui county assembly speaker George Ndoto who was present, supported Ngilu.
Meanwhile, Limuru residents  demonstrated  and  blocked the Nairobi-Nakuru road,  protesting  the  ban on charcoal  production  in Kitui and demanded Ngilu’s arrest and investigation. The demonstrators accused Ngilu of inciting Kitui residents to impound and torch lorries that transport charcoal from Kitui to other  counties.
On Thursday, a lorry laden with charcoal was set ablaze at Kanyonyoo on the Mwingi-Thika highway. Ngilu has denied instigating the torching of charcoal lorries. Speaking in Nairobi on Friday, Ngilu said she had nothing to do with the burning of the lorry but insisted the ban will not be lifted.
Kitui Water and Agriculture Committee chairperson Grace Mutua said residents should support Ngilu’s initiative to end charcoal burning. She  took to social media to defend  the govenor’s stand to end charcoal production. “Let’s stand firm for our environment, our community,” said the Wiper nominated MCA.
She faulted individuals saying the ban is motivated by tribalism. “This is a war against illegal business, not a tribal war.  It doesn’t matter whether or not the charcoal lorry belongs to a Mutua, Otieno, Oletipis, Kamau, Mwiti or Arap Too,” Mutua said.
“As the chair of the county’s water and agriculture committee, I must put an end to this illegal activity or the little [resources] we have will run out,” she said.

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