By Ndungu Gachane
Millions of money have lost while there has been massive job losses at Kandundu area after Muranga County Government closed down a quarry over what the workers describe as petty reasons.
The quarry that has been an oasis of hope to over 400 quarry workers has been the source of building stones to Muranga, Kiambu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Embu Counties.
There has been a flurry of activities due to the mining activity which has seen the sprouting of kiosks with women establishing food joints to cook for men who work at quarry and others engaged in hawking activities to earn a living.
Mr Peter Nyamai, the manager of the mining site told journalists on Monday that as a result of the quarry, between Sh2.5 to Sh3 million revolve in the area within a day and that Muranga County Government has been receiving between Sh350000 to Sh400000 daily in form of cess fees from the lorries that gets building stones at the area.
He says last week, officers from Governor Mwangi Wa Iria led administration visited the area and closed down the quarry citing lack of toilets, walls surrounding the quarry and personal effects like helmets and dust coats.
“They had given us a week to comply with the requirements and to obtain documents from National Environment Management Authority (Nema) and without consultations they ordered us to close the quarry,” Mr Nyamai said.
He said as a result over 400 men and women have been rendered jobless while their heavy machines which they hire to operate the over 20 quarries are still incurring huge costs.
On his part, Mr Bernard Maina, a worker who used to work at the site said the surrounding neighbours are now living with fear since lack of jobs may negatively affect them.
He called on the devolved unit to consult them in order to reopen quarries and to solve the stalemate.
The jobless youth says they have complied with the requirements while some of the reasons the officers gave while closing the quarry were not genuine since they have toilets and other social enmities.
“If at all they are genuine why close this quarry alone while we have others still in operation in Muranga, why did they not close it down for the longest time we have been operational?” They added.
They want Governor Wa Iria to intervene and help them.