A REHABILITATION PLAN FOR BHAMJI QUARRY IN MUKURU KWA NJENGA-NAIROBI.

ABSTRACT

Quarries that are left untreated after closure cause extensive land disturbances and have negative safety and environmental impacts. The original ecosystems have been removed, the original topography has been significantly changed, the fundamental ecological relations are irreversibly disrupted, and the biodiversity is greatly reduced. The management of land use, landscape, and biodiversity challenges resulting from quarry operations is an important aspect of Sustainable Development. Negative impacts of abandoned quarries include degraded scenery, landscape fragmentation, loss of biodiversity and decreased quantity and quality of human settlements where some urban dwellers invade such sites leading to slum development. Due to institutional weakness and the absence of national policy, most quarries have not been developed using environmental concepts and in preparation for post operation reclamation or restoration. Sustainable quarrying activities consider conservation of the ecosystem with rehabilitation of landform and land cover to approximate the initial state.

This development project is designed to demonstrate principles of sustainable rehabilitation of disused quarry sites after the decommissioning of the quarrying activities. In determining sustainable rehabilitation of abandoned quarry site within Mukuru informal settlement, the following was put into consideration; the increasingly vocal and active roles of stakeholders in influencing the rehabilitation process. Being a developing nation the stakeholders issues are more of socio-economic oriented as opposed to those in developed countries which are more environmental and health issues oriented.

A number of factors were identified that have the potential to affect the rehabilitation and site development of the abandoned quarry site in Mukuru neighbourhood. These include land use conflicts within the development project area; legal policies and institutional framework constraints, the nature of land ownership and the current environmental restoration initiatives by the government, private developers, non-governmental organizations and local residents. This is achieved through proposing measures to guide the rehabilitation programme.

 The preferred land use development is the use of the site for recreational purposes, it details out specific projects and programmes which if successfully implemented will ensure sustainable use and development of the abandoned quarry in relation to other land uses. Such programmes will include landscaping and revegetation projects. The project also recommends review of relevant legislation and policies. This will provide a better framework for the proper implementation of the rehabilitation project. The reviewed policies will also provide a basis for planned quarrying and rehabilitation in other parts of the nation.