Tanga Cement Company has made efforts in improving the environment after mining has taken place.
The company has rehabilitated two pozzolana quarries in Holili in Kilamanjaro region.
"We wanted to demonstrate that with a little bit of effort, there can be something good after a quarry has been rehabilitated and to show that within the mining industry. If you dig something out of the land, you should also put something back in place in order to preserve the environment," says Juerg Fluehmann Managing Director, Tanga Cement.
Holili village located on the North Eastern slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro near the Kenya Tanzania border and some 300km from Tanga Cement`s plant was rich in Pozzolana which is a key ingredient in making pozzolanic cement.
Tanga Cement produces pozzolana cement hence consumed most of the Pozzolana that was quarried from Holili.
Holili 1 which is 7,200m2 was used for mining for six years while Holili 2 at 16,000m2 was used for four years.
After an environmental assessment that was done in 2005, the rehabilitation process begun in 2006.
"Before rehabilitation the quarries had sharp drops and there was no vegetation. The mining debris on the quarry floor had to be pushed against the faces and soil had to be pushed over the steep faces and on the debris. The steep faces were also slopped while the drainage channels were cut to stop rain water erosion," Kati Kerenge head of communications at Tanga Cement says.
With the land leveled, vegetation was re- introduced and tree seedlings were planted.
Today there is a difference: "There are thriving trees and vegetation, reduced dust and soil erosion. The areas have been rehabilitated to land forms consistent with grazing requirements.
The planted trees which include mosquito repellent species will be a source of shade, fuel wood, and fresh air.
They also demonstrate to the community that trees can change and improve their environment," Kerenge adds.
Over15, 000 trees and 5,500 sisal plants have been planted in both quarries and the roads in the area have equally been improved.
Kerenge says the initiative sought to address critical issues including safety to humans and animal life, to arrest what could have become an environmental liability in the future.