Sand dealers in Machakos County have been advised to form Sacco’s so as to benefit from the County Sand Harvesting Act, 2014.
The call was made by Muthwani MCA George King’ori who said if the Act is effectively implemented will lead to improvement of the dealers’ living standards.
King’ori said the county government will lift sand harvesting ban in parts of Machakos County such as in Masinga Sub County if the dealers cooperate and accept to operate as stipulated in the Act thereby ensuring environmental conservation.
The dealers include sand harvesters, scoopers, transporters, land owners and loaders.
King’ori accused land owners and cartels within sand trade industry in Machakos County of exploiting desperate youths involved in scooping and loading the commodity in mines and rivers within the region.
“The County Sand Harvesting Act, 2014 will be implemented in favor of the residents, sand dealers should form Sacco’s for personal benefits,” said King’ori.
He spoke at a meeting with youths involved in sand harvesting, scooping and loading at Ivovuani in Muthwani ward, Machakos County.
King’ori said current sand harvesting and trade operations in the county have led to environmental pollution, degradation and exploitation of youths involved by cartels.
He said the current system of operations benefit only a few individuals while majority languish in abject poverty.
“Youths should unite and form Sacco’s. They stand higher chances of benefiting with the Sacco’s and have their living standards improved as opposed to the current situation where they are exploited while only a few individuals benefit after fleecing them,” King’ori added.
King’ori said the dealers will be able to access grants and loans from county and national governments including various financial institutions.
He said residents have lots of resources which do not benefit them because they are not organised.
King’ori said the law, if fully implemented, will spur development across the county and ensure environmental conservation.
That is the reason governor Alfred Mutua slapped a ban on sand the trade in parts of the county.
The MCA, however, said sand harvesting should not be banned since it is source of livelihoods to many residents.
King’ori said unlawful sand harvesting methods had damaged roads, polluted rivers, made residents poorer than ever.
The youths welcomed the implementation of the new Act and expressed hope it will lead to improvement of their living standards.
They urged Governor Mutua’s administration not to ban sand harvesting in the county because it’s solely the source of livelihood to majority of them.