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1.1 Background of the study

Within the last decade, environmental concerns have gained prominence throughout the world. Several international protocols have been established by the global community to deal with the emerging environmental issues. In Nigeria, these global changes coincided with the enactment of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (1999) the law that governs environmental issues in the country. The Act established the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) which, among other functions, monitors and evaluates development activities to ensure there is no threat to environmental stability. Activities, such as quarrying in urban areas become significant in this respect.

Quarrying is a huge supporter of local economic development; it enhances trade, creating jobs for people annually, creating new habitats sometimes new roads are built, first to transport the machines and then extracted materials which are then left to be used by residents. Most people in quarrying regions wholly depend on these quarrying for their livelihoods aside from other economic activities.

Quarrying activities around Abraka Eku area in Delta state  have been going on since the 1950s when the place was sparsely inhabited. Today, the population of Embakasi area has grown tremendously and there is stiff competition between various land use practices in the area. Moreover, new residential areas have sprouted throughout the area further instilling pressure onto what used to be open space.

1.2 Statement of research problem

Quarrying activities has led to development of infrastructure, created employment opportunities, growth of towns and has contributed to the establishment of various industries. Quarrying activities have also lead to environmental damage (Siachoono 2009). There are two reasons why land degradation generally results from mineral extraction: first is industrial development and secondly short term economic benefits such as reaching production goals and employment. The quarrying activity has affected the environment in both negative and positive ways. Scholars in different parts of the world have tried to carry out research in order to identify how this activity has impacted the environment ((Adekoya, 2003; Ajakaiye, 1985; Kibet, 2004)

The benefits of the quarrying activity should trickle down to the people living in the neighboring area; this can be in form of good roads and other infrastructure. According to (Aigbedion 2005) the benefits of quarrying include socio-economic development and growth due to internal revenue and/or foreign exchange earnings. This study attempts to establish the positive effects of quarrying on the environment in Abraka eku. The study area is characterized with poor roads especially the one leading to the quarry site, contrary to what is expected due to the presence of the quarries in the area. There is need therefore to establish why that is the case.

Studies have been carried out by different scholars in relation to quarrying, Kibet (2004) carried out a research on environmental problems associated with sand mining.

He looked at how the sand mining affects the environment and the working conditions of the sand miners. Charles (2002) carried out a research about different types of mining that is used in the sand mining industries and mainly the effects of sand mining to the health of the workers, Mweni (2002) investigated extend of quarry worker welfare and Otieno (1998) researched on the quarrying in Kayole and its contribution to defects in adjacent residential building.

1.3 Research Questions

·        Does the quarrying activity have any effect on the people living in the given area and quarry workers?

·        What problems do people living next to the quarries experience due to their activities?

·        What dangers/problems do the worker in the quarries experience?

·        What are some of the measure being taken by the quarry owners to reduce the effects of quarrying to the environment?

1.4 Study Objectives

This states the main aim of the study in the given area.

To establish the effect of quarrying activities to the environment.

1.5 Specific Objectives

1.     To examine the effects of quarrying on the natural environment.

2.     To establish the effects of quarrying activities on the quarry workers and the area residents.

3.     To establish if the law governing quarrying activities are adhered to by concern parties.

1.6 Research Hypothesis

The hypotheses for the study areas follow:


There is no significant relationship between quarrying activity and the

physical environment.


There is significant relationship between quarrying activity and the

physical environment.


There is no significant relationship between quarrying activity and the

health of the workers in the quarries.


There is significant relationship between quarrying activity and the

health of the workers in the quarries.


There is no significant relationship between quarrying activity and the

area resident.


There is significant relationship between quarrying activity and the

area resident.


1.7 Justification of the study

This study is an attempt to assess the environmental problems of quarrying in areas around Embakasi in Nairobi. This is because most of these quarries are located next to the residential areas and the people living there are affected by the activities that go on. The topic of study helped to establish the effects of quarrying activity to the environment, this include the physical environment and human environment: the quarry workers and residents around the area of study.

There several studies that have been carried out (Musyoka 1997, Okafor 2006, Azad and Ashish 2006) in other area and have identified that quarrying activities have negative effects to the health of the quarry workers and the people living near them. The study endeavored to establish if the same problems are also experienced in this area of study. The study need to be done in order to find a solution to problem that affects the people living in that given area.

Quarrying in Nigeria suffers from a number of constraints including lack of basic knowledge, safety precautions, poor working conditions, low socio-economic status, lack of clear quarrying legislation and environmental degradation that call for special attention. These are more pronounced in small scale quarry operations all over the country.

There has been growing public dissatisfaction in the manner in which quarrying activities are being undertaken in the country. The country has witnessed various quarry disasters and complaints associated with quarrying activities especially with the abandoned quarries. A lot of research has been done the rehabilitation of quarries after use and all projects usually conduct EIAs before the beginning of the projects but during the actual process of quarrying nothing much is done.

Most quarry sites are unsafe for operation and most quarry operators also fail to observe environmental and safety measures when carrying out mining activities. Most quarries use of explosives for blasting operations, this has made the site weaker. Most the workers do not wear protective gear and as a result they are exposed to great danger. Lack of clear regulatory framework for the management of quarries in the

country and inadequate and uncoordinated enforcement of existing legislation has led to haphazard and unsafe quarry operations.

The task force that was set by the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources (MEMR) established that most of the quarries are located near the residential area and because of this, the study tried to examine the how their location has affected the people from the neighboring community and the workers in general. There are constant problems between the quarry owners and the community as a result there is need to identify some of these problems that arise.

The quarries were directed to relocate to an area that is less populated some have complied with this orders and they have relocated to Athi River area but the seven quarries in Embakasi are still very active , with some of them still carrying out blasting regardless of the effects to the environment and the people in the area.

EMCA (2009) Mines and quarries where explosives and machinery used are located in designated areas and not less than two kilometers away from human settlements. Any person carrying out construction, demolition, mining or quarrying work shall ensure that the vibration levels do not exceed 0.5centimetres per second beyond any source property boundary or 30metres from any moving source.

The finding will help environmental institutions such as NEMA whose function is to examine land use patterns so as to determine their impact on the quality and quantity of natural resources advice the government on legislative and other measures for the management on the environment. The government through the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources (MEMR) will then make decision on whether to renew the licenses or not.

1.8 Scope and limitation of the study

The study covered Abraka eku  Division within Delta state where there is an active quarry site. It dwelt with only seven active quarries where active blasting and crashing was on going this was due to accessibilityProximity to the quarries, economic activities 6

and social status are some of the factors that were considered in drawing up the sample.

The study embraced a holistic approach which enabled in the generation of useful information of various aspects of environmental effect of quarries in the area, the effect on the quarry workers and residents around the quarries. The study has suggested several far reaching implications to the planners, policy makers, and change agents in tackling the various environmental issues.

There are many quarries but time and money being the main constraint, the study confined to only the active quarries in the area due to availability of funds. These are some of the limitation that the study faced. However, proper care and considerate thought was exercised in making the study as empirical and systematic as possible.

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