By TCD TEAM.
On 11th May 2023 – Kitui Governor Dr. Julius Makau Malombe commissioned the newly gazetted sand harvesting and management task force which has fourteen Members.
The team seeks to come up with a sustainable sand harvesting management draft that will be presented to the cabinet for ratification before it’s sent to the assembly as the bill for adoption.
The Governor commissioned the County Sand Harvesting and Management Taskforce during its inaugural meeting in Kitui. In his remarks, the Governor said the task force is mandated to develop the legislative framework to ensure sustainable sand harvesting and management across the county.
He noted the objective of the legislative framework as ensuring sustainable sand harvesting that benefits the county, and communities and realizes environmentally friendly management practices in order to restore and maintain healthy catchment ecosystems in the county.
The county has in recent times witnessed an upsurge of unregulated sand harvesting which pauses risks of environmental degradation, loss of revenue, and the emergence of unregulated groups and cartels leading to insecurity and social disorder at the sand harvesting sites necessitating the need for order among stakeholders.
The task force comprises the chairperson Madam Esther Musili, Vice Chairperson, fourteen members, and a secretariat. Madam Musili previously served as the Executive Director – of Anglican Development Services Eastern region that works with stakeholders to build community capacities in climate change adaptation.
The committee will eventually develop a draft of the Kitui County Sand Harvesting Management Policy and a draft of the Kitui County Sand Harvesting and Management Bill by the end of June this year.
Sand and gravel are the second most harvested natural resources after water globally. They play a significant role in construction (roads, high-speed trains) and are key ingredients in industrial production including glass-making windows, computer screens, smartphones, silicon chips for solar cells, paint and coating production, ceramics, metal casting, refractories, cutleries, pottery, filtration, and water production among others.
Sand and gravel are mineral resources deposited on riverbeds and riverine areas. Rivers and adjoining riparian areas are located within counties and under Schedule 4 (b) function 8 and 10 of the Kenya Constitution 2010, the county government is required to ensure their proper county planning,
Sustainable utilization of natural resources located within the county, soil conservation, and environmental protection.
Furthermore, Article 174 of Kenya Constitution 2010, under objects of devolution ‘gives powers of the people to be part of governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them.
Article 174 (d) recognizes the right of communities to manage their on
affairs and to further their development while, Article 69 1(a) states that ‘the state shall ensure sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and Conservation of the environment and natural resources and ensure the equitable sharing of accruing benefits.
The Kenya Constitution 2010, under the Fourth Schedule, part two function 14, gives the cOunty governments functions and powers of ensuring and Coordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level and assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacities for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level.
Kitui County is endowed with a wealth of sand resources found along River Basins, namely: Tiva-Nzeeu-Mwitasyano River Basin made up of Rivers Tiva, Nzeeu,
Mwita-syano, Mutendea, Kalundu, Kauwi, Ithimani, Mwiwe, Muvuko
and Ikindu among others.
Thua-Ikoo-Ngunga River Basin made up Rivers Thua, Ikoo, Ngunga,
Kiongwe, Masaa, Kisiio, Mutwei, Vinda, and Muvuko among others. Enziu-Mwania-Mui River Basin is made up of Rivers Enziu, Kivou,
Mwania, Isou, and Thunguthu among others. Tyaa-Nguutani-Kamuwongo River Basin is made up of Rivers Tyaa, Kamuwongo, Nguutani, Kanginga, and Mbakini among others.
Nziitu-Katse-Kanyungu River Basin is made up of Rivers Nziitu, Nguuku,
1guini, Konyu, Thua, Katse, Wangutu, Kalange, Kamengia, Mwangea and Kanyungu among others.
In addition, with the construction of 2400 sand dams across the rivers, sand will be deposited in dams in larger quantities increasing the amounts of harvestable sand.
To ensure the health of these ecosystems, the extraction of. these resources have to be regulated and the necessary environmental
safeguards put in place.
In recent times, the county has witnessed an upsurge of unregulated sand harvesting which pauses risks of environmental degradation, loss of revenue to the county, and emergence of unregulated groups and cartels leading to insecurity and social disorder especially in places where sand is harvested.
Currently, there is no specific County policy and legal framework to Pool regulate sand harvesting and management.
Given the foregoing scenario, the County Government of Kitui has
established a task force in line with The Kenya Constitution Chapters Four
and Five. Chapter 4: The Bill of Rights 42(a) calls for the protection of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures.
Particularly those contemplated in Article 69 (d) which states as follows encourage public participation in the management, protection, and conservation of the environment: and 69 (g) eliminate processes and activities that are likely to endanger the environment.
Chapter Five (Land and Environment) 60 (c) states that ‘sustainable and
productive management of land resources; and 60 (e) speaks to sound
Conservation and protection of ecologically sensitive areas.
In addition, the task force is also guided by H.E. the Governor’s manifesto ” The Kitui Promise’ as defined in the Environment Sector. The task force will develop the Legislative Framework to ensure sustainable sand harvesting and management.
The main objective of the Legislative framework is to ensure sustainable sand harvesting, benefits to the county, communities, and environmentally friendly management practices to restore and maintain healthy catchment ecosystems in the county.
The COMPOSITION OF THE TASKFORCE.
The task force is comprised of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson appointed by his Excellence the Governor, fourteen (14) members, and assisted by a Secretariat.
The Taskforce shall meet the Appointing Authority for a briefing and terms of reference and issuance of appointment letters on Thursday
TERMS OF REFERENCE.
To review and document the entire sand value chain, including harvesting, transportation, aggregation, value addition, pricing branding, and marketing.
Undertake desktop literature review on sustainable sand harvesting
and management and benchmark with other Counties that have developed clear policies and laws governing sand harvesting and management.
The team will Organize one public participation forum per river basin to seek community and stakeholder input on their roles in sand harvesting and management, including identification of sand harvesting sites, environmental protection, and conservation.
Propose ideal aggregation sites to form commercial sand yards per basin and modalities of their management.
Document threats to sand value chain process Propose community organizations including SACCOS (based on the five river basins), that can be registered and granted licenses and permits to oversee the collection, loading, transportation, security, and
environmental protection of the sites, riverbanks, access roads, and
Propose guidelines for SACCOS formed to oversee sand harvesting and management to ensure no conflict between Cooperative Societies that oversee sand harvesting and management at river basins and other
entities mandated to oversee sand harvesting and management for
Propose modalities for overseeing the licensing and issuance of permits for sand harvesting and management including conservation for local use Propose modalities for the organization and management of sand loaders into groups.
Propose measures to ensure that sand harvesting and management in
The county is not infiltrated by cartels, brokers, and other unregulated groups Propose policy and legislative measures that ensure the optimization of the sand resources for the County and her communities
Propose policies of ensuring that sand harvesting sites are not permitted near bridges, drifts, roads, sand dams, and other infrastructures which can be damaged by haphazard sand harvesting activities
Develop: a) A draft of Kitui County Sand Harvesting and Management Policy b) A draft Kitui County Sand Harvesting and Management Bill.
The Taskforce shall submit and present to the Appointing Authority a
Conceptual paper/brief report of their interpretation of the terms of
reference as well as a plan of action for undertaking the work with
timelines for achieving the same.
The length of the paper/brief report should not be more than ten (10)
pages using Tahoma font 14, and one-and-a-half spacing.
The Taskforce shall submit and present the draft report to the
Appointing Authority containing the Taskforce’s initial findings and
recommendations by Thursday, June 22, 2023.
The Taskforce shall submit and present the final report to the
Appointing Authority containing the Taskforce’s final findings and
recommendations by Thursday, June 29, 2023.
The report shall be accompanied by: i. Draft Kitui County Sand Harvesting and Management Policy
Draft Kitui County Sand Harvesting and Management Bill.
IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS FUNCTIONS THE TASK FORCE;
It Shall hold a such number of meetings at such places and such times as the Taskforce shall consider necessary for the proper discharge of its mandate:
May consult with the Appointing Authority on any matter within its
mandate: Shall have access to any reports, documents, and data, and for the execution of its mandate.
May interview any officer(s) deemed to have relevant information to the mandate of the Taskforce; Subject to the foregoing, they shall have all the independence necessary to carry out or execute its mandate.
In consultation with the Appointing Authority, have the power to co-opt an additional Taskforce member as it deems fit in line with its terms of reference.The Taskforce shall set its own rules of operation.
The term of the Taskforce shall lapse upon submission of the final
report to the Appointing Authority.
THE SECRETARIAT OF THE TASKFORCE.
he Secretariat shall be responsible to the Taskforce for;
a) Recording and minuting all Taskforce meeting deliberations;
b) Liaising with the County Departments for the provision of any information or documents required by the Taskforce.
c) Providing appropriate background briefing to the Taskforce;
d) Preparing the Taskforce’s reports and disseminating any information
deemed relevant to the Taskforce.
e) Organizing and coordinating logistical support to the Taskforce.
The Taskforce will be provided with tea, stationary, and any other office
materials necessary. This will be overseen by the office of the County
Executive Committee Member for Energy, Environment Forestry,
Natural and Mineral Resources.