todayFebruary 21, 2024

By Tasia Doreen


Experts in Moyo district have warned of the devastating impacts of brick laying on the environment following the increasing number of residents engaged in the economic activity this dry season.

Mr. Droma Patrick the district forest officer Moyo said that, brick laying has contributed to destruction of the vegetation cover, swamp drainage, floods and soil degradation which has affected the climate and rain pattern of the area. ‘‘We know that brick laying is an income generating activity that most people are engaged in dry season, however what does this tells us in terms of the environment and forestry, 90 percent of the bricks are laid within the buffer zones of the streams within the 30 meters which are intended to maintain, keep water in the streams during the dry season for domestic use and livestock and in the event of this they end up clearing the vegetation cover leading to floods,which reduces the bed of the streams,’’ he was quoted saying

When this vegetation along the streams is cleared the issue of climate change comes in, these wetlands play a lot of roles in removing carbondioxide and reducing pollution.

Now when it comes to the forest cover in the district, you realize that those laying bricks don’t even have trees of their own but rely on the natural trees that are growing within the surrounding, people heavily rely  on these trees for cooking and poles which has reduced the number of trees by 40 percent.

These people who have unplanned bricklaying activities who have no wood source are cutting reserved trees which would act as food security to the people which also reduces the school dropout rates especially the mangoes. Others are even cutting palm trees for burning bricking with store and keep water in the streams something I have never seen.

Mr. Anjiri Alfred the District Agricultural Officer Moyo, explains that bricklaying has vast impact on agriculture as it reduces the soil fertility especially if it is being laid on arable land. “The effect of bricking laying on agriculture is three folds ,if it is being laid on massive land  near arable land, its size is reduced , as the soil is molded for bricklaying the top soils is  usually used up, reducing on the soil fertility and when the fertility is reduced, crop yields also go down, for those laying the bricks in the swamps and wetland they will  be competing  with the vegetable farmers for water for production this dry season” ,he narrated .

The secretary for natural resources Moyo district Hon.Asusi JB Sam remarked that though this is an income generating activity, the locals have now resorted to cutting down fruit trees for the purpose of brick burning which is likely to contribute to famine “I want to thank the people of Moyo district for engaging in productive activities, that bricklaying will generate income to pay school fees, however on a sad note he noted that people have resorted to cutting trees like mangoes which are now flowering, I want to caution and appeal to all the Local council ones to ensure that these fruits are not destroyed for brick burning which act as food to many during agricultural season”, he advised.

Mr. Ruga Ronald, a resident of adua village in Moyo Sub County who is currently making bricks explained that he is using the land that has been affected by the road project adding that he is aware of its effect on agricultural production.

The burning of bricks results in release of gaseous pollutants and ash into the environment, air pollution and good quality soil are major environmental concerns related to bricks making process. Brick making processes are the major sources of air pollution and soil degradation.

COVER PHOTO: Pictorial from a brick making site in Adua village, Moyo sub county By Tasia Doreen

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