Kenya: Creation of 4000 jobs in Quarry Industry
Positive signs and challenges
The increase in number of investors engaging in the quarrying industry sector in Kilifi County has created 4, 000 jobs. The chairman Kilifi Quarry Owners Association Halib Musa stated that the activities in the sector had doubled after 20 fresh members had the enrolment in the Association. The strength this improved to 60. As a result it created more jobs and expanded the space that is suitable to extract coral blocks and building materials.
Presently there around 300 unregistered quarry owners who do not use modern working tools but do the extraction work by using human labor.
The members employed 2, 000 workers, and have 35 workers in every quarry. The self-employed persons in the informal sector also are 2, 000. The industry faces many challenges leading to many prominent quarry owners closing their business due to finances and lack of appropriate land to carry out excavation.
Challenges for members
Some members were forced to close their business because of pending bank loans and unsuitable lands with corals. They took the bank loans and incurred incentive costs but failed to get land with best corals. They could not raise money for repaying loans.
With the involvement of the youths in the sector self-employment increased. There was a change in their behavior from their previous engagement in crime. The youth of this sector work very hard in the day and take rest in the evening. Cases of theft or stealing or luring girls into sex have reduced in the area. Some small-scale quarry owners did not register with the association. They are afraid of meeting the mandatory registration fees and assessment procedures of National Environment and Management Authority.
The members need to pay sh30, 000 to get a license to work. Moreover, there are other levies and charges of N.E.M.A. and the County government, which the small scale quarry owners cannot meet. A big portion of land in the outskirts of the town to Matsangoni comprises of an area that is suitable for quarrying corals.
Some human settlements within this area need to be left alone from such activities.