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Eldoret West residents raise concern over haunting quarry

THE COUNTIES
By BY MICHAEL OLLINGA | May 15th 2014

BY MICHAEL OLLINGA

Uasin Gishu: Eldoret West Sub-County residents have raised concern over an open quarry in the area that has contributed to increased life losses, asking the county government to strategise on erecting a perimeter fence around it to avert the situation.

According to the residents, the open quarry filled with water located between Mwanzo, West and Kidiwa estates is a major source of fear as individuals who want to end their lives jump into the dam.

They say the stone quarry that was started by Mugoya Company during the colonial times is also used by criminals who dump bodies into the water reservoir.

“Something needs to be done about this quarry that seems to be haunting residents from around this place and far areas as many livenjo who is also a bodaboda operator said the quarrys continue to be lost here,” said Gideon Kamonjo, a bodaboda operator from Kidiwa.

“Body parts of a woman killed in Langas were found dumped in this quarry last year, several other bodies have been retrieved here after accidental fall and swimming attempts,” he added.

He said that parents in the area surrounding the quarry are afraid to punish their children when they err as they threaten to throw themselves in the vast water-filled hole.

Benjamin Mukudi a self-help group chairperson in the area echoed Kamonjo’s sentiments, adding that late last year a woman threw her two children into the quarry before jumping in the deep water reservoir herself.

“The woman had an argument with her husband. She took her three children and dumped them in this quarry, one child escaped and the woman threw herself inside the water after the lucky child raised alarm,” he narrated.

Mukudi added that it is not only human lives that have been lost in the quarry but animals that graze around the quarry or that try to drink water from it.

School children have also lost their lives in the quarry with the latest incident happening last week after a Standard Eight pupil drowned in the water after a swimming attempt.

Peter Wanyonyi 16, a Standard Eight pupil at St Mary’s Primary School Eldoret together with two classmates, is said to have been sent home to collect sh 50 examination fees by the head teacher on the fateful day when he tried to swim in the quarry water but unfortunately drowned.

The deceased’s body was retrieved from the murky waters after four days efforts put in by hired divers.

Juliah Murugi the mother of the deceased and hails from Kidiwa estate directed blame to the school’s head teacher for not giving an advance notice before sending his child home.

She backed calls urging relevant authorities to step in and see the quarry secured with a perimeter wall or completely sealed to avert further loses of life.

Joshua Kiplimo from Mwanzo estate said that the quarry has no benefit to the residents and is instead predisposing them to environmental hazards thus needs to be permanently sealed.

“The quarry water is neither safe for drinking nor clean for washing, this place is has turned into a death zone that the government needs to seal since it failed to compel the construction company that mined stones here to secure the place,” he explained.

The residents challenged the county government specifically to turn the massive water reservoir lying in over five acres of land to a resourceful project that can benefit the residents.


 

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