Kenya through the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has banned activities on an illegal gold mining site in Rang’i village within Rangwe Sub County following complaints from community members.
Homa Bay county Director of environment Josiah Nyandoro announced the ban and said a private investor had embarked on mining operations in the area without the necessary license from the department contrary to the environmental management and co-ordination ACT.
“The investor had failed to acquire an environmental impact assessment license from NEMA as well as a license from the mines and geological department allowing the use of explosives,” said Nyandoro.
Right to a clean and healthy environment
“NEMA had subsequently issued a ban on all operations at the site until the mining company acquires the necessary documents. Every Kenya citizen has the right to a clean and healthy environment and also the responsibility to safeguard it for the benefit of future generations,” added Nyandoro.
The ban was positively received by area residents who complained that operations at the site had caused damage to their houses and demanded compensation from the private investor.
“The mining activities that have been going on for more than two months now have damaged my house as well as that of my son. The two houses have cracks on the walls because of activities at this site that is bordering our homestead. We are requesting NEMA to ensure the investor compensates us for our losses,” a resident John Rakala complained.