The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has suspended Ugandan-based Mango Tree Marine Limited from harvesting sand in Lake Victoria.
This follows complaints by Homa Bay county residents over the massive sand harvest by the company, which is using a 70 metres long and 4,000-tonne dredging vessel.
The harvesting was reported at Takawiri Island and the presence of the vessel reported in Mbita, Mfangano and Rusinga islands.
“It has been confirmed that there was sand harvesting in the Kenyan part of Lake Victoria, around Takawiri Island, volumes and quantities of which have not been confirmed yet, and the reasons why it was done not made known,” said NEMA director-general Mamo Mamo in a letter to the company.
Mamo said that the company had only been licenced to dredge Kisumu Port, Dunga area and Nyanza Golf Course.
“The authority shall take appropriate action against the proponent in the event of a breach of any of the conditions stated therein or any contravention to the EMCA, CAP 387 and regulations therein,” Mamo said.
He said that any activity outside the prescribed areas was illegal and must be stopped immediately.
The company seven days to state the amount of sand harvested in Takawiri and its destination. It has also been summoned to NEMA headquarters in Nairobi this week.