Kiambu residents fail to stop Chinese company from quarrying


Residents of Baraniki village in Kikuyu, Kiambu county have lost a bid to secure orders prohibiting a Chinese company and other stone miners from quarrying in the area because of environmental pollution.

In the case filed at the Environment and Lands Court in Thika, residents claimed that the National Environment and Management Authority (Nema) and the Kiambu county government had allowed uncontrolled quarrying in total disregard to the law.

They claimed that as a result, they suffered from noise, water, air and sound pollution.

Additionally, that children on their way to school had suffered fatal accidents after falling into gaping holes left after quarrying.

But Justice Lucy Gacheru dismissed their case saying there was no evidence to support the allegations.

Ailment, disability

"They further averred that the constantly shaking grounds from the blasts has adversely affected pregnant women and the elderly which has occasioned heart failure and loss of hearing and shock. No medical evidence or evidence of a medical expert was bought forth to signify that due to quarrying activities, an ailment or disability was as a result of the said quarrying activity," said the judge.

The villagers had produced burial permits as proof of death. However, the court ruled they failed to produce a post-mortem exam reported which indicates the cause of death thus not discharging the burden of proof and linking the deaths to quarrying activities.

Nema through its County Environmental Officer Robert Mugoi opposed the case saying the authority conducted a site visit and compiled an inspection report on March 16, 2019. Mr Mogoi said there were abandoned quarries in the village which are very deep and peasants were still excavating stones.

He said that the that there was one operational quarry under the management of China Wu Yi Company, which was compliant to the Nema requirements.