- The cooperative will help empower those engaging in artisanal mining by providing them with training, financial resources and capacity building.
- Through the cooperative, miners will be supported to start adding value to the minerals they produce.
The government will organise small scale miners in Murang’a county in order to empower them.
Mining Principal Secretary Elijah Mwangi said his department is partnering with the county government to open a cooperative for the miners.
The cooperative will help empower those engaging in artisanal mining by providing them with training, financial resources and capacity building.
Through the cooperative, miners will be supported to start adding value to the minerals they produce to boost their returns.
The county is endowed with granite and clay that are mined and sold in their raw form to buyers who then use them to make tiles.
It also has numerous sand and stone quarries that support thousands of residents.
Through the cooperative the miners will get funding to acquire better mining equipment to protect them and ease their work.
They will also be able to market their minerals and financially empower themselves.
“We are working with the county to introduce value addition for clay in Murang’a so that it is processed locally and not sold raw,” he said.
Mwangi said his department will establish a laboratory in the county to help in testing locally mined resources before they are processed.
Laboratories, he added, will be established in all mineral-rich counties as part of the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda being implemented by the Kenya Kwanza government.
“We intend to open offices in the county as a way of bringing resources and services closer to the people,” the PS said.
Speaking at Gaturi primary school in Murang’a on Saturday, Mwangi said that the government is reforming the sector to stem illegal mining and smuggling of mineral resources.
The reforms have seen over 3,000 illegal mining operations closed down and over 1,500 mining licenses terminated for those operating contrary to what their licenses allow.
He cautioned players in the sector against transporting minerals without a permit issued in the regional offices.
“Once they acquire a permit, our officers should then be present during the packaging to ensure that the mineral for which the permit is issued is the one packed,” he said.
The department has posted an officer at the Kenya Ports Authority to confirm the kind of minerals exiting the country through the port.
The PS also urged Kenyans living in landslide-prone areas to exercise caution during the looming El Nino rains to avoid loss of lives.
He cited Murang’a county where tens have lost their lives due to landslides during rain seasons, saying those in vulnerable areas should move to safety in advance.
“The department has issued an advisory cautioning people living in areas prone to landslides to beware of earth movements and will be working with the administration to ensure lives are not lost,” the PS said.