TRUCE

Sand prices row in Mai Mahiu now resolved

Two people died last week during violent demonstrations

In Summary

• But during a meeting chaired by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, the management of the farm agreed to lower the current prices by 20 per cent.

• The county chief said the sub-sector, which employs over 8,000 people, was critical to the economy of the county.

Naivasha assistant county commissioner Mutua Kisilu, Mai Mahiu MCA Stephen Ng’ethe and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui during a meeting with sand harvesters in Mai Mahiu
Naivasha assistant county commissioner Mutua Kisilu, Mai Mahiu MCA Stephen Ng’ethe and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui during a meeting with sand harvesters in Mai Mahiu
Image: GEORGE MURAGE

After a week of chaos that led to the death of two people, sand traders and landowners in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha, have finally resolved their differences.

Last week, loaders engaged the police in running battles along major roads leading to and from Mai Mahiu town in protest against new sand charges by the management of Kedong Ranch.

But during a meeting chaired by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, the management of the farm agreed to lower the current prices by 20 per cent.

Addressing the press after the two-hour meeting, the county chief said the sub-sector, which employs over 8,000 people, was critical to the economy of the county.

“Seventy per cent of sand used in construction in Nairobi is sourced from Mai Mahiu and thus the need to protect it,” he said.

While condemning last week's chaos, he said the parties had agreed to form a liaison committee that would in future resolve their differences instead of going to the streets.

Nakuru county commissioner Erastus Mbui said they would in future not tolerate such demonstrations.

“I'm happy that the impasse has been resolved, and we should in future engage in dialogue instead of rushing to the streets,” he said.

A director at Kedong Ranch, Stanley Kinyanjui, admitted that the sand business was a mainstay of residents and a source of employment.

“We have agreed on the way forward and left this meeting as friends and partners who are keen to make this sector grow bigger,” he said.

Traders chairman Stephen Muiruri welcomed the truce, saying all parties, including the county government, had lost a lot of revenue.

“We thank the governor for the role he has played in this meeting, and we are ready to go back to full operations from now,” he said.