I would like to acknowledge Professor Mwakio Tole for exemplary role he played in writing of this work as my project supervisor, through his commitment and guidance this work has been a success. Secondly my gratitude goes to Mr Joseph Tunje the project coordinator for his tireless effort and directions in ensuring that this project was a success. My regards also goes to Mr Samuel Nganga the District Environmental Officer and the Manager MSCSL for sparing their time to listen to me and for the valuable information which contributed to the write up of this work. More appreciation goes to my parents for their financial and moral support they gave me which enabled me to successful undertake this study. This work wouldn’t have been be a success without cooperation and courtesy I received from the respondents while in the field through data they gave me and finally Mr James Kalama for taking and showing me around places of study.

Sand harvesting in many areas of Malindi is an issue of environmental concern due to the growing increase in demand in the building and construction industry. The problem has been exacerbated by the fact that this is an important socio-economic activity for the local community. Environmental degradation already experienced includes loss of vegetation, loss of top soil, soil erosion which has been accelerated by vehicles hauling sand in undefined paths, distorted aesthetics (open gulleys) and loss of land that otherwise would have been used for agriculture. The main goal of this study was to determine the socio-economic impacts of sand harvesting and its effects to the environment. The study employed field work observations, data collection methods such as interviews and questionnaires in determining these impacts. The study found out that the majority of the landowners have converted their land into sand mining sites to obtain a living. Incomes from the activity are insignificant making the land owners to sell more sand thus increasing land degradation, as a result they are left in poverty and the burden of living with environmental consequence of sand mining when sand in the sand mining sites have been exhausted. It was also established that NEMA issues EIA licenses and notices, takes annual audit and monitors the activity for compliance with the guidelines that it has instituted while MSCSL sets a standard price for selling sand and allocates funds for mitigating environmental impacts. From this study it is recommended that the land owners need to be educated on the importance of unity so as to make all their sales through the Co-operative for sustainability, seek alternatives i.e. change in land use for instance digging fishponds to reduce overreliance on sand mining and finally the government needs to review existing policies and laws in order to protect the interests of the land owners and also the environment.

Acronym and abbreviation
AFS American Fisheries Society
CMMR Continental Margin Mineral Resources
CJO Cambridge Journal Online
EMCA Environmental Management and Coordination Act
MDEAP Machakos District Environmental Action Plan
MSCSL Magarini Sand Cooperative Society Limited
NEMA National Environment Management Authority
NSMRSIE National Seminar on Mining of River Sand and its Impacts on the Environment
PEI Poverty and Environment Initiative
PEN Poverty Eradication Network
SER State of Environment Report
SHG Sand Harvesting Guideline 2006
RTFQAK Report of the Task Force on the Management of Quarrying Activities in Kenya
UNDP United Nations Development Program