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February 26, 2018

Charcoal and sand trade ban should follow the law

The charred remains of the truck.
The charred remains of the truck.

A Kiambu-based charcoal transporter yesterday demanded compensation for his truck that was set ablaze in Kitui after it was impounded by police.

The truck driver was arrested for illegal transportation of charcoal and possession of forged transport business documents. 

It was torched because he was suspected to be violating a ban on charcoal trade and sand harvesting imposed in neigboring Kitui county. 

 The ban may have been inspired by the plastics ban imposed by the national government, which has been hailed around Africa and beyond.

Environmental conservation is a devolved function and the assembly is within its mandate to ban calamitous activities that contribute to climate change. Irresponsible sand harvesting results in the destruction of aquatic and riparian habitat, while in-stream sand harvesting can cause entire stream beds to sink to the depth of the excavation.

Governor Charity Ngilu has vowed that she will enforce the ban imposed by the Kitui County Assembly. She has urged the people of Kitui to help.

But enforcement of the ban must follow the law. Perhaps Ngilu should clarify that the "help" she requires is not people taking the law into their own hands.The torched truck was travelling from Garissa and had nothing to do with Kitui charcoal or sand.

Quote of the Day:

“Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.” —Russian novelist and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was deported from the Soviet Union to Frankfurt, West Germany, and stripped of his Soviet citizenship on February 13, 1974.

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