An assessment of environmental impacts of quarrying activities in Ndarugo area, Kiambu County
Mwangi, Samuel Njoroge
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Artisanal mining has been for many years disregarded, where large scale mining that involves large scale extraction of minerals such us valuable metals, oil and gas has been documented and given much concentration. Small scale mining however has had a significant role to play in the developing countries, where it takes opportunity of the abundant available labor while only requiring limited amounts of less than abundant capital. Nevertheless, this sector of the economy surrounded by much enthusiasm has a lot of problems, which has plagued it; poor health and safety, wasted mineral resources, and environmental degradation (Noronha, 1998). This sector is not affected by other pollutant problems like those experienced by the mining industry involved in metals and minerals, because the process of extraction is merely physical, and more recently involves the use of some machinery to ease the process. However, this does not mean that stone quarrying does not have its fair share of numerous environmental effects, which are actually serious. Ndarugu is among the areas in the country where such quarries exist, and they pose a blatant disregard for the environment. The research project aims at looking at these environmental effects, coming up with mitigation measures and recommendations to tackle these issues. The major effects were examined first by looking at relevant literature, and finally collecting data on the ground and providing a comprehensive analysis. Data was analyzed and represented statistically through use of graphs and photographs collected in the field. The findings show that the quarrying activities are a great source of negative environment impacts. The issue is greatly accelerated by the fact that the quarries are abandoned after use and no elaborate rehabilitation plan is available, and furthermore the sector is highly unregulated with no proper legislations and policies.