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November 17, 2018

Sand harvesting just like gold mining, needs regulation – MP

Men harvesting sand along Voi River /RAPHAEL MWADIME
Men harvesting sand along Voi River /RAPHAEL MWADIME

Mwingi North MP Musyimi Nzengu wants sand classified as a mineral to increase it value and create wealth for the people of Kitui.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has banned sand harvesting in the county. She says together with charcoal burning, they degrade the environment.

Speaking to the Star on Monday, Nzengu said sand can create wealth if properly managed.

“We will push for a motion in Parliament for a reclassification of minerals. We want sand to be considered as a mineral. We want sand to be treated the same way as gold and limestone,” the MP said.

Most of Ukamba region is dry, but it is endowed with vast deposits of sand. 

Nzengu urged fellow leaders from Kitui and in the neighbouring counties to support him. He said residents must benefit more that they are from the sand. 

The motion is likely to get support from Coast MPs, especially those from Kilifi,  where most building materials come from.

Kilifi is the source of most construction blocks used in Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu, Tana River and parts of Eastern region.

Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire told the Star yesterday sand is an important resource that must be protected, and be made beneficial to communities that have it.

“Mombasa is being built by Kilifi. Most of the sand and building blocks are from Kilifi,” Mwambire said on the phone.

He said county governments have levied sand and building materials from Magarini and Ganze.

“If sand can be levied, then more benefits should trickle to the communities. I welcome the proposed motion,” Mwambire said.

Kaloleni MP Paul Katana said the motion will help boost the economy of the counties that have sand.

Although his constituency does not have the resource, Katana said he would support the motion for the sake of Coast residents.

“They have been exploited for too long. Let him bring the motion. We will ensure it is well drafted,” Katana said on the phone on Tuesday.


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