AFTER EXCAVATION

Chinese firm to be sued for not rehabilitating quarry in Vihiga

The abandoned quarry is full of water.

In Summary

• Boiyo says Nema is working closely with the county government to ensure Covec is held responsible.

• The company had also promised to build a health centre in Mwoki, but that was not done.

Youths collect stones from the quarry left by Covec company to earn a living
Vihiga Youths collect stones from the quarry left by Covec company to earn a living
Image: /MARTIN OMBIMA
Youths in the abandoned quarry
Vihiga Youths in the abandoned quarry
Image: /MARTIN OMBIMA

A Chinese company constructing the Kisumu-Kakamega highway will be sued for failing to rehabilitate a quarry in Mwoki, Vihiga Environment chief officer Richard Boiyo said on Saturday.

He told the Star on the phone that the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) is working closely with the county government to ensure Covec is held responsible.

Construction of the road started in 2013. Part of it is complete but construction is going on.

Covec was to restore the environment in Mwoki where it was excavating the construction materials but it left the quarry open.

The abandoned quarry is now full of water.

“The company did not observe Nema regulations while excavating raw materials in Mwoki. It was also to cover the quarry but this has not been done,” Boiyo said. 

He said Nema deputy director compliance Zephania Ouma toured the site last month to assess the danger the quarry poses to the community at large.

Efforts to contact Ouma were unsuccessful as his phone was switched off. 

The company had also promised to build a health centre in Mwoki, but that was not done.

Boiyo said suing the company will help prevent other firms from abandoning project sites without restoring the environment.

Efforts to reach the Chinese company to respond to the allegations were unsuccessful as the contact person did not pick calls.