•It is meant to enhance the administration and delivery of services to the common citizens affected by mining projects in the region.
•It will be served by 11 CDAC members who are mandated to monitor the usage of funds and oversee the implementation of projects designed to benefit the community.
Australian mining firm–Base Titanium has commissioned the first office of the Community Development Agreement Committee, at Nyumba Mbovu in Msambweni, Kwale county.
The office has been constructed as a commitment to fulfill the mining Act 2016.
It is meant to enhance the administration and delivery of services to the common citizens affected by mining projects in the region.
It will be served by 11 CDAC members who are mandated to monitor the usage of funds and oversee the implementation of projects designed to benefit the community.
The projects will be funded by Base Titanium by ceding one percent of its annual revenue for community development.
The firm will give over Sh200 million annually where Msambweni will get the lion share, followed by Likoni and Lunga-Lunga.
Speaking during the commissioning, environmental affairs general manager Collins Forbes said the office will help provide clarity and keep a record of projects being implemented.
"This is a facility that enables the community to seek information and understand the work of CDAC, the scheduled projects and how they will impact the future," he said.
Forbes said the projects include the construction and improvement of health facilities, learning institutions, roads and offer bursary and sponsorship programs in line with the blue economy.
The projects will be conducted quarterly and are to improve and uplift the living standards of the communities.
Sh 15 million will be allocated for scholarships and sponsorship programs for students who will get 300-349 marks.
Kinango and Matuga students will be part of the bursary beneficiaries.
According to the CDAC chairperson Mshenga Ruga, they will prioritize students pursuing short Diploma courses for tertiary level.
"We are not going to sponsor students taking courses that go for more than four years because of the mining life," he said.
The Australian firm is currently seeking to extend the Kwale mine life.
Base community liaison manager Pius Kasim said they are making progress in identifying new mining areas.
He said already a license has been granted by the government for them to proceed mining in Mafisini area.
"We are finalising on the resettlement issues and hopefully we expect to finish the process before the end of this year," he said.
Kasim said processes are ongoing to seek licences in Bumamani, Mwaloya among others.
The CDAC committee was gazetted in 2020 and Base entered into the agreement with the affected communities in May 2021.
Kasim called on the committee to serve the citizens fairly and protect funds from being embezzled.