, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – The government has constituted a task force on the administration of quarries for a period of one year to work towards reorganizing the quarry business in the country.
The move is intended to protect the environment and increase revenue from the quarry sub-sector.
Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu says lack of regulation in the sub-sector has led to degradation of the environment, misuse of revenues meant to be remitted to the national government, investors and the communities.
“Despite the challenges in the sub-sector, there are also numerous opportunities for Kenyans to tap into as Kenya is undergoing infrastructure transformation that largely requires construction minerals in nearly all aspects,” Kazungu noted.
The nine-member team will be chaired by Edward Mulewa Mwachinga.
The team will be tasked with proposing mechanisms for proper administration and management of the construction minerals sub-sector in accordance with the Mining Act 2016.
The team will also be coming up with modalities for the effective collection of royalties and taxes from the construction minerals sub-sector while assessing the compliance by active and inactive quarries.
It will also identify all active and inactive quarries, establishing legal status, land ownership and management of all active quarries, assessing the state of environmental, health and safety compliance of all quarries as well as the impact of the use of explosives in the sub sector.
“The task force that will report to the Cabinet Secretary on a monthly basis is also expected to transform the quarry sub-sector for better revenues and ensure artisanal, small scale and large-scale miners carry out responsible mining,” Kazungu added.
In 2016, the construction industry contributed 7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the key ingredient being construction minerals such as sand, gravel, clay, cement, gypsum, slate and building stone among others.
Under the new mining law, the government under the Ministry of Mining in Kenya regulates construction minerals.