SAND HARVESTING TOO

Matiang'i pledges to end Kitui charcoal trade

Backs Governor Ngilu's ban that created an uproar when charcoal transport vehicles seized

In Summary

• In January 2018 Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu banned sale and transport of charcoal. Ban on illegal sand harvesting. 

• A countrywide logging ban is in force. 

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i
Image: VICTOR IMBOTO

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has directed Kitui police to enforce the charcoal production and sand harvesting ban by the county to protect the environment.

Matiang'i on Wednesday deplored the increase in illegal sand harvesting and charcoal burning and called on all arms of government to put an end to them.

He was addressing a forum after touring the county to assess progress of the Huduma Namba uptake.

A countywide logging ban is in force.

“This [illegal sand harvesting and charcoal burning and trade ban] stands to be enforced by the government until it is lifted by the County Government of Kitui. That is the law and anyone found culpable of the offence shall be charged before a court of law,” the CS said.

To build a sustainable green economy, Kitui has developed an energy masterplan tapping into the Last Mile Connectivity and renewable energy to stimulate rural economies, Environment executive John Makau has said.

He said the masterplan promotes clean, sustainable, reliable, accessible and affordable energy to improve development.

He said clean energy for lighting and cooking will accelerate access to electricity through small-scale, off-grid and stand-alone projects, often simple and cost-effective.

Makau said that unfortunately, wood fuel has remained the most important source of energy in Kenya, meeting over 70 per cent of energy needs.

"As the primary source of fuel for rural households, wood fuel has a major impact on the sustainable development of Kitui. The lack of efforts with reforestation, unsustainable harvesting, and on-farm planting of wood lots, have often led to soil degradation and deforestation,” Makau said.

 

In a Gazette notice of January 16, 2018, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu banned the sale and transport of charcoal and sand in the county.

It read: “Due to public outcry over unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, the public is notified with immediate effect that the governor has banned transportation and sale of charcoal and sand outside the county and revoked all licenses, permits and any other documentation."

Makau said the average household uses much of its income on kerosene, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and is bad for the respiratory system.

Air particulate emissions from kerosene lamps also contribute to household air pollution.