Environmental degradation through quarrying: a case study in Tala-Kangundo area, Central Kenya
Mathu, E M
Nyamai, C M
Ngecu, W M
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In the Tala-Kangundo area, located approximately 50 km ENE of Nairobi, Kenya, quarrying of volcanic tuffs for building stone is causing a serious environmental degradation. Agricultural land is being destroyed at an alarming rate by the careless scraping off the top rich soil to pave way for quarrying. After excavation, there is little or hardly any rehabilitation work program in place to restore the land for resumed farming purposes. Furthermore, good grazing lands with beautiful landscapes are equally being destroyed by the haphazard quarrying activities. Further environmental degradation is reflected by the quarry sites having become an eyesore with extensive and numerous heaps of dumps of unused quarry rock fragments. Secondly, these open and unguarded quarries pose dangers to both animals and human beings, especially to playful children in their vicinity. Thirdly, some of the quarries are filled with stagnant waters, thereby becoming breeding grounds for vector disease carriers. Fourthly, recreational land for parks and playgrounds is being destroyed in the absence of proper planning of the quarrying activities. The authors recognize that good management of these quarries is required and more detailed, explicit and strict policy guidelines on the exploitation of the rock resource and rehabilitation procedures on the disused quarries are needed. As a result, the quarry owners will not only reap maximum economic benefits by avoiding the middlemen (brokers) exploitation, but will also maintain a clean and healthy environment for themselves and for posterity.