BY LINAH MUSANGI
January, 22ND 2018: Residents of Nguutani in Mwingi West constituency have held demonstrations to protest illegal sand harvesting which has been taking place at their rivers, hence leading to rampant environmental degradation.
Led by their area MP Charles Nguna, the residents held demonstration starting from Nguutani River where sand harvesting has been taking place to the market center as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction on the way issue of sand harvesting is being handled.
During the demo, residents arrested several lorries ferrying sand and charcoal.
Speaking at Nguutani, Mwingi west MP Charles Nguna called upon the county government to hasten its plan of controlling illegal sand harvesting which has ruined several rivers in the area.
The Minister for Tourism, Youth, Gender and Culture, Musau Koki who was also present during the demonstration added that The Governor has banned sand harvesting however ,it is not a total ban. Residents can still use sand and charcoal locally but were urged to replace every tree they fell.
Justus Musango, a businessman said that they first want water mitigation measures put before they can allow sand harvesting since they depend on these rivers for water.
“If there is a sand bay that is going to be opened for selling sand, let it be within Nguutani division since its where sand harvesting takes place. This will benefit the youth by creating employment and business men too to benefit from the economic activities related to sand harvesting.” Added Justus.
The residents vowed not to allow any lorry to enter their local rivers with intent to fetch sand.