Assessment of the Environmental Effects of Quarrying in Kitengela Subcounty of Kajiado in Kenya
Quarry locations, abandoned without any scheduled rehabilitation processes thereafter have posed environmental challenges globally, in addition to being among the most risky industry to work in due to high number of reported health hazards. In Kenya, stone mining in the past few years has been on the increase due to an increase in their demand by both commercial and residential property developers. And as such, this study aimed at evaluating some problems stemming from stone mining in Kitengela, one of the sub-counties of Kajiado County. The specific objectives that guided the study are; to gauge ecological upshots of stone mining in Kitengela, to scrutinise quarrying ramifications on health of labourers and on Kitengela populace, to detect mitigation processes that alleviate stone mining impacts on the environment and lastly make recommendations that address undesirable stone excavation effects on the environment. For this study, both quantitative and qualitative or mixed methods of research design was adopted targeting 5,278 people whose composition included quarry labourers and people residing within Kitengela. Out of the targeted population, a sample size of 642 was drawn using a cluster and simple random sampling techniques. The sampling process involved dividing the respondents into quarry workers and residents then randomly sampled from both categories. The procedure involved writing ‘yes’ and ‘no’ on small pieces of papers, folding them, shuffling and asking respondents to pick them. Those who picked paper pieces indicated ‘yes’ were chosen to participate. During data collection, questionnaires were chosen as main data gathering tool and the collected data analysed descriptively and inferentially. Chi-square tested hypothesis and significance levels. The findings of this study showed a significant association between quarrying and environmental degradationX2 (3, N = 392) = 126.42, P< 0.05 and no substantial association on splitting of buildings and people’s health respectively, X2(1, N =180) =3.487, P< 0.05. In view of the acquired outcomes, the investigation reasoned that degradation of environment in Kitengela was due to unregulated stone excavations and therefore recommends that strict enforcement of existing regulatory frameworks be undertaken on non-compliant quarrying businesses.
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