Kitui Governor Malombe enacts landmark sand harvesting regulation Bill

Kitui Governor Malombe enacts landmark sand harvesting regulation Bill

Kitui Governor Dr. Julius Malombe signing the Kitui County River Basins Sand Utilization and Conservation Bill 2023 into law. PHOTO/COURTESY: X/@KituiCountyGovt

Kitui Governor Dr. Julius Malombe on Friday assented a new bill that will regulate sand harvesting across the devolved unit, marking a significant milestone in environmental conservation efforts within the region.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Kitui County Rivers Basins Sand Utilization Bill 2023, Malombe stressed the importance of the legislation in curbing the deliberate destruction of river basins and the surrounding environment caused by unregulated sand harvesting.  

"The end result of the unregulated activities is that the county has witnessed receding water tables, drying up of most rivers, unstable river banks, unchecked floods 3 leading to destruction of property, farmlands, crops and in some cases loss of human life and a myriad of breakdowns on societal norms," he said.

According to Malombe the legislation is not aimed at banning sand harvesting outright but rather at regulating and managing the activity to ensure environmental sustainability.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there have been fears that the Act will ban sand harvesting and utilization, but that is not the case. Let me assure you that, the people who have been in the sand business, all they need is to reorient and align their business in line with the new law," he said.

The new law, is a culmination of extensive efforts by the Kitui County government, including the establishment of the Sand Utilization Taskforce in May 2023, which conducted thorough public participation and consultation across all eight Sub-Counties.

"The taskforce did a commendable job on the preparation of the report, draft Policy and Bill which we were submitted to my office in a record time of 59 days. Allow me to express my appreciation to the taskforce, under the stewardship of the Chairperson, Esther M. Musili," said Malombe.

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