Governor to partner with National Government to fight sand harvesting

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana has said his government will work closely with the National Government to curb illegal sand harvesting in the county.

Kivutha said the war against illegal sand harvesting cannot be won by the County Government alone and called for sustained cooperation between the two levels of government to end the menace.

Speaking today at ACK Wote during a stakeholder’s forum, the governor said sand is a basic resource in the county and underscored the need to have proper systems in place for its proper utilisation.

‘‘Eighty percent of our of water is from rivers whose primary use is domestic and subsistence irrigation and we need to embrace dialogue and strike a balance to avoid wanton destruction of the environment,’’ he said.

Kivutha also called for community involvement through public education to sensitise the residents on the need to protect the environment.

‘‘We need to sensitise the community and synchronise activities for Water Resources and Utilisation Authority(WRUAs) committees and Sand Users Association(SUA) to achieve mutual benefits,’’ he said.

Speaking at the same forum, County Commissioner Alex Ole Nkoyo said the security organs in the county will crackdown on illegal sand harvesting cartels and prosecute those found culpable.

The County Commissioner also warned National Government officials against abetting the vice saying disciplinary actions will be taken against such officers.

The County Commissioner noted that the fight against sand harvesting had been hampered by poor working relationship between the two levels of government.

He called for enhanced collaboration between the provincial administration and the county administration in hot spots where illegal sand harvesting is a challenge.

‘‘Let the chiefs work in collaboration with the ward administrators and stop the blame game   to fight the illegal activity, ’said Ole Nkoyo.