Manyonyi residents demand compensation over damages caused by Nzoia Quarry

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Committee members listening to Manyonyi residents
Committee members listening to Manyonyi residents

Parliamentary committee on environment and natural resources toured Manyonyi village in Lugari Sub County in a fact finding mission over damages allegedly caused by Nzoia Quarry Company operating in the area.

This follows a petition filed by the locals through the national assembly accusing the company of destruction caused on their property as a result of the blasting.

The Committee chaired by Mwingi North Member of Parliament Paul Nzengu in acting capacity received complaints from the residents who are now demanding compensation after quarry blasting tremors left a trail of destruction to dozens of private houses and schools.

Mwingi North MP Paul Nzengu when he led the team
Mwingi North MP Paul Nzengu when he led the team

The locals led by their chairman John Kadima and Secretary Shadrack Namasaka accused the company of refusing to compensate affected families.

Namasaka said the tremors which sweep across their homesteads have caused numerous cracks on their houses and latrines.

Manyonyi residents presenting their complains to the committee
Manyonyi residents presenting their complains to the committee

The secretary appealed for intervention from the relevant authorities to necessitate fair compensation for all affected families.

Mr. Victor Mwashi, one of the affected residents claimed that apart from their structures the small streams and water springs had dried due to uncontrolled activities of the company.

Lugari Member of Parliament Ayub Savula who hails from Manyonyi village but not a member of the committee said the management of Nzoia Quarry Company has given a deaf ear to complaints from the community.

The MP said schools, peoples’ homes and even his home had developed cracks due to vibration and blasting activities of the company.

Savula claimed that there were reports of women who miscarried due to shock from blasting of stones, incidents he said cannot continue to be tolerated.

The MP wants the company to compensate the locals, Manyonyi secondary and primary schools whose property had been damaged.

Savual also called on the Nzoia Quarry LTD and Simba quarry companies operating in the area to maintain roads frequently used by the two companies while transporting their finished products.

Committee directed management of the Nzoia Company to produce legal operating documents within seven days including the company list of directors and how public participation was carried when the company began its operations in the area.

However, Ruiri MP Simon Nganga who is a member of the committee reiterated that quarry companies should be more responsive to the community’s concerns during their activities because the community had not demanded their closure.

“I ask for the company to work with the community for peaceful co-existence. Permanent solution will be reached if they sit and agree,” the MP said.

Janet Ong’era Kisii County Women Member of the National Assembly, also a committee member said the claims of five women who miscarried due to quarry activities were shocking and will be seriously investigated.

The committee members and other government officials at the Nzoia Quarry
The committee members and other government officials at the Nzoia Quarry

Ong’era also called for agreement between the company and the community while following environmental laws during blasting operations for their peaceful co-existence.

“We are not going to leave any stone unturned, I want to assure you we are going to dig deeper into your complaints and make a comprehensive report for necessary action to be taken,” said Nzengu.

The area Deputy County Commissioner William Lenaremo asked Manyonyi residents to remain calm as the parliamentary environment committee looked into their petition for a legal solution.