Kwale County Governor hits back at sand grab scheme


(Posted 09th May 2015)

The news told here in October last year, of a dredger siphoning the white sands of the prize winning Diani beaches into a barge and carrying it off, caused ripples not only in Kenya but among many regular visitors to this part of the country from abroad. Initial denials by official bodies linked to the scheme turned later into reluctant admissions and even some readers apparently doubted the truth of the story until told otherwise by residents and resort managements from Diani who had witnessed the rape of the reefs and beaches.

It is understood that the long overdue Environmental Impact Assessment study is now out, though was not availed to stakeholders in soft copy but hard copy only, another assault on the environment for printing the report on paper instead of using modern day electronic copies.

With the truth known did the South Coast Residents Association swiftly generate more support and triggered a momentum which now saw the Kwale County Governor come on board, using the local print media to issue a full page statement condemning sand harvesting along the south coast beaches and the dumping of construction waste off shore, using blunt phrases like Destruction of Beaches, Destruction of the Reef, Destruction of Livelihoods, Pollution and warning of a total collapse of tourism should the ludicrous sand extraction be permitted, and permitted by arguably biased bodies with a vested interest. Notable was the Kwale county government never consulted or involved in any discussions over the plans to literally steal 5 million tons of sand from one of the county’s most prized assets, instantly triggering dissent and spreading deeply rooted suspicions and launching allegations over bias and back room dealings to the detriment of the county.

South coast residents and the resorts and other businesses depending on tourism have immediately voiced their support for their Governor’s public position and expressed their intent to dissect the EIA and comment and respond to it on a page by page basis. More on this development in coming days and weeks as details of the EIA become available but meanwhile here is the full page advert by the Kwale county government of yesterday: