Mavoko residents call for closure of illegal quarry causing air, noise pollution

Residents of Myland estate, an extension of Utawala that lies in Mavoko Sub-county, Muthwani Ward, now want the government to close an illegal quarry in their estate.

A 5-acre piece of land set aside for public utility has been invaded by people from outside the estate who do quarry activities. The residents have raised complaints that the estate has now become intolerable due to noise pollution and dust from the quarry activities.

Nancy Maero, a resident of Myland estate, says that they have had to battle frequent illnesses with their children because of the dust they keep inhaling due to the trucks that keep passing by their homes.

The residents say that a member who has respiratory complications died as a result of intolerable dust from the quarry activities. The women complain that their houses are always full of dust. The women’s daily activities have been affected, they say they have now resolved to wash clothes during the night to dodge the dust during the day.

During peaceful demonstrations to denounce the illegal quarry activities in the estate, the residents raised concerns over rising insecurities. The residents complained of unknown bodaboda riders and truck crews loitering in their estates. They say house break-ins and loss of property have been happening in the area.

John Oduor, the chairman of the Residents Association, complains that some of the members have resolved to relocate their families to different areas as they wait for the government to close the quarry mine. Peter Chege, a resident and a business owner in the estate, was forced to close his hotel and swimming pool business as the dust became a health hazard for his customers. While counting losses he has suffered from the illegal quarry mine, Chege said that he is on the verge of breaking down after closing his hotel business and having part of his perimeter wall fall off due to tremors from the loaded trucks that pass by his construction site.

During the peaceful demonstrations, the area OCS visited the quarry mine and listened to the residents’ grievances then asked the residents to disperse and wait for the relevant authorities to work on the matter.

According to the residents’ association chairman, since last year July, they have been battling with the quarry miners to stop the illegal quarry activities, but a lasting solution has not come forth. Despite writing letters to the security authority in the area and also contacting NEMA, the chairman says that NEMA officers visited the quarry site and ordered the shutdown of the illegal activities, but they are still ongoing. The residents have complained that their efforts to stop the quarry activities have been frustrated; they now want higher authorities to hear their plea.

The association covers a 4,000-acre piece of land with already 4,300 plots developed.

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