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TIVA residents protest against unchecked sand harvesting

Around 100 residents living around Kwa Vonza area in Kitui County protested illegal sand harvesting on Friday morning.
The barricaded section of the Kitui-Machakos road at Kwa Vonza./MWINGI TIMES

They barricaded the busy Kitui-Machakos road. Area MCA Mark Nding'o joined them in protest.

Tiva MCA Nding'o said that he supports the protest staged by his electorate adding that sand harvesting had negatively affected rivers in the area.

"I am concerned that the Tiva sand is being harvested with a lot of impunity. Imagine at least 10 huge lorries are carting away sand from here every day", said the MCA.

MCA Nding'o said the county government of Kitui was working to address unregulated sand harvesting. 

The angry residents told MWINGI TIMES that they mounted logs and boulders along the road to voice their displeasure with at least 10 semi-trailer lorries which scooped sand at Tiva River the previous night. They later transported the sand.

Unregulated sand harvesting dries up rivers which are major sources of water in the arid and semi-arid county.

Kitui Central Sub County Police Commander Peter Karanja led police in clearing the barricaded road. They arrived shortly after 11.00am.

Kitui Central police boss Karanja informed area residents that sand harvesting was suspended. He urged them to refrain from blocking the road since their grievances had reached relevant government authorities.

Kitui Governor Dr Julius Malombe recently formed a taskforce to manage sand harvesting in the devolved unit. MCA Nding'o said that the taskforce report was out and sooner the recommendations will be deliberated by the County Assembly of Kitui. "We will pass a law to govern sand harvesting", he said.


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