Police Unit Formed To Deal With Illegal Mining

A new police unit has been formed to deal firmly with illegal mining activities across the country.

The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Mining and Blue Economy Salim Mvurya warned investors involved in illegal mining activities to stop forthwith or wait to be dealt with conclusively.

Mvurya said he would launch the new police unit next week to drive out the unscrupulous business cartels who continued exploiting miners and denied the government of the much-needed revenue for decades.

Subsequently, the CS announced that artisanal miners’ activities have henceforth been decriminalized and so they should go about their businesses without fear of any form of interference or arrest.

He made the remarks this morning at Tom Mboya Labour College where he officially opened a training forum for the artisanal miners drawn from Western and Nyanza Regions.

‘We have started mineral value addition and processing which has focused on all areas of the country. This way we will kick out the unscrupulous investors and we will bu
ild gold refinery factories to assist our miners,’ he revealed.

The new Mineral Value chain and Processing Policy for artisanal miners in Nyanza and Western Kenya where they mostly deal in gold would focus on Vihiga, Nyamira, Migori, HomaBay, Kakamega, and Kisii.

Mvurya said that an investor has already been identified to build a gold processing plant in Kakamega at a cost of Sh5.8 billion and appealed to the leaders of artisanal miners drawn from the regions to sell to the strategic investor.

He added that in Vihiga, another plant would be put up at a further Sh2.8 billion to process the numerous granite spread out in Bunyore, Hamisi, and Emuhaya areas while a third plant would be constructed in Elgeyo Marakwet to deal in fluorspar.

The CS said they have already gazetted all the critical mining communities to ensure that artisanal miners don’t get intimidated by anyone.

The CS announced that they were implementing numerous changes including the Mineral Data through all the 47 counties following a survey
which confirmed that 970 different types of minerals are found in these areas.

‘We are also decentralizing changing the laboratory services by upgrading the lab in Nairobi and establishing new ones in the eight regions and counties. This way the artisans will no longer take their gold to Nairobi for processing,’ he explained.

Mvurya said more than 1 million Kenyans were engaged in the mining sector but they continued using outdated tools but this would soon be history as the government will avail them of modern equipment under this programme.

Representatives to the forum were drawn from 76 artisanal cooperative societies that converged in Kisumu for training as they prepared to start all over by abandoning outdated operations and embracing modernity.

Meanwhile, the CS said eight fish landing sites namely Mulukhoba and Bumbe (Busia), Wichlum (Siaya), Asembo Bay, Asat and Ogal (Kisumu), Kochola and Sori (Homa Bay) alongside Kabonyo Kanyagwal (Kisumu) where aquaculture will be done at a cost of Sh1.9 billion

Source: Kenya News Agency