How sand harvesting and logging ban have impacted development in Taita-Taveta

By Renson Mnyamwezi

Many constructions have stalled due to lack of building materials in the wake of a ban on logging and sand harvesting, officials said yesterday.

The ban has also affected revenue collected both by the county and national governments.

There are fears youths might turn to crime after the outlawing of logging and sand harvesting rendered them jobless.

“I have been paying the county government Sh2,000 per lorry of sand as revenue. However, the county government no longer gets this money since sand harvesting has been banned, which has seen many constructions stall,” said the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) branch chairman, Kenneth Zenge.

A Sh65 million office block at the county assembly in Wundanyi town has stalled due to lack of poles.

County assembly

The building was meant to house county assembly committees and members of staff.

“The current assembly is congested. It does not have public and press galleries. The assembly has 33 members. That is why we need the new building to for committee and staff,” said the assembly clerk, Michael Ngala.

There is a shortage of timber in Wundanyi, Voi, Taveta, and Manyani Prison.

Khamisi Bakari, the officer in charge of Wundanyi Prison, said the carpentry section was not operating due to shortage of timber.

“We are missing out on the revenue our carpentry section generated. This has affected our operations,” Bakari said.

Governor Granton Samboja recently noted that the county’s revenues had dwindled. “We are at the mercy of the national government as we cannot sustain ourselves. Revenue collection has been dwindling at an alarming rate through corruption, among other causes,” Samboja said.

~ Standard Media Group 

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