Siaya County government’s department of environment has stopped the planned establishment of a sand harvesting plant in Yala Township location within Gem sub-county.
This follows the protests by residents of Yala township location who opposed the planned establishment of the sand harvesting project by a private investor, Sklin Works Company, citing lack of a proper procedure.
They complained that apart from failing to get approval from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the county government, the company failed to include the public in the process.
Siaya County Executive Committee member for Water, Environment and Natural Resources Mr. George Rubik says therefore that having visited the site and put into consideration the residents’ concerns, they decided to stop the construction until the investor shall have followed the due process.
The CEC added that when they went to the site, he discovered that point at which the investor wanted to construct the sand harvesting plant along the banks of River Yala is a wetland which is a breeding zone for hippopotamus and a habitat for a rare bird, Papyrus Gonolek.
He stated that they noticed that any form of destruction of the wetland would only call for human-wildlife conflict in the region.
Mr. Rubik who spoke to the press stated therefore that the project will remain suspended, noting that their concern generally is to ensure that the wetlands not only along River Yala but in the entire county are preserved.