Locals torch two trucks in row over sand harvesting

Kasikeu residents look at the remnant of two lorries that were burnt by angry residents for sand harvesting. They vowed to burn more if those carrying the sand do not stop. (PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE/STANDARD)

Tension remained high in Mbiuni ward, Mwala sub-county after a group torched two trucks.

Drivers of the two lorries fled after villagers charged at them at Nyanyaa River where they had parked the vehicles to load sand.

The incident sparked heated reaction from residents and local leaders. “Some Government officers posted to work in Mwala have no interest of the environment at heart. Environmental conservation should therefore be left to residents,” said John Kieti, a resident.

Another resident, Mukuthai Munyoki, said: “Conserved environment is the most valuable thing for human survival and cannot be compared with an individual’s appetite to profit through its destruction.”

Mwala/Makutano MCA Brian Kisila blamed the police for failure to enforce the Sand Harvesting Bill, 2017, which outlawed commercial sand harvesting. He said some locals had been colluding with rogue police officers to shield illegal sand harvesters.

Assistant County Commissioner Charles Jura condemned the incident and warned residents against taking law into their hands.

“The sand traders should also keep off the area in the meantime until such a time when there is consensus on the matter,” he said. 

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Sand Harvesting BillMachakosBrian Kisila