Traders under the United Scrap Metal Association (USMA) umbrella body are engaging stakeholders in the sector as they seek to find lasting solutions to the vandalism menace.
Through their chair Joseph Wandaka, the group met with top officials from Kenya Power, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO), Ministry of Roads, Transport, and Public Works to come up with the most effective ways of stopping vandalism of government infrastructure.
The dealers who were meeting in Nakuru agreed to expose any suspected vandalized property in the supply chain to relevant state agencies and hand over culprits to authorities for further action.
“If we find any of our members with scrap metal suspected to have been vandalized from public infrastructure, we will take them to the police ourselves. We have put our members on notice not to buy stolen materials.” Said Wandaka.
He termed vandalism of power lines and other investments as economic sabotage and called for stiffer penalties against those found engaging in the vice even as he urged state agencies to embrace innovation by deploying Information Communication Technology to protect critical government infrastructure.
While expressing their intent to support ongoing efforts by the government to crack down on vandals, USMA vice chairperson Samuel Wanjine however called on the two levels of government to harmonize licensing of scrap metal business to make it sustainable noting that it was a source of direct and indirect employment for thousands of Kenyans.
“Scrap Metal Council domiciled in the Ministry of Trade and Industrialization charges Ksh. 50,000 for one to operate a yard, the County Governments demand payment of at least Ksh.100, 000, while the National Environmental Management Authority’s scrap metal dealership license costs 30,000 shillings, “he lamented.
The Ministry of Energy and its agencies have been the most affected with key critical infrastructure being the target.
Report by Sally Namuye/KNA