The County Government is engaging the authorities to ensure the mining zone that was set aside in Wananchi settlement scheme in Mwatate is opened up to allow for more space for artisanal and small scale mining.
Speaking in Chawia CBO grounds during the Mining prayer caravan organised by Voice of Kings church led by pastor Nathan Maina, the Deputy Governor Majala Mlagui said the County will improve infrastructure in mining areas to make them conducive for working.
The Deputy Governor also called for the formation of mining cooperatives and CBOs.
“Right now we are standing on Chawia CBO grounds, in Kasighau we have Dapata mining CBO. I challenge miners across the County to join hands and form more CBOs and cooperatives because it’s through such unity that we can have tremendous achievements,” she said.
The CECM Mining urged miners to observe moral and ethical standards in their daily endeavors and shun retrogressive practices and beliefs.
“We know some of you miners have been convinced that only when you sleep with a virgin girl will you extract more gemstones. This is an outright lie, they are misleading you. Let us protect our girls not defile them,” she said.
She futher advised miners to seek land owners concent before embarking on mining activities.
Kenya Chamber of Mines Chair Mr. Moses Njeru said that their organization is engaging the authorities to ensure small scale and artisanal miners acquire tax free mining equipment from local dealers.
“I recently talked to Kenya Ports authority who clarified that the tax on imports of mining machinery is usually waived. Those who do not import have to buy from local vendors and still pay VAT. This doesn’t help them at all,” he said.
The prayer caravan for the mines was meant to restore to normalcy the extraction after what local residents and miners termed as rituals carried out to blinden them from getting the precious minerals.
“Despite spending too much on extraction exercise, we have nothing to show other than scars and loans to service. We believe these prayers will turn things around,” said one miner who refused to be mentioned for security reasons.
Voice of Kings overseer Bishop Nathan Maina pleaded with miners to consider investing and promoting local community when they have succeed in their ventures.
“When you get the gemstones remember to glorify the Lord and pray for wisdom to spend the money well,” he said in his sermon.
Bishop Maina was accompanied by several pastors during the prayer rally with stopovers at Kambanga, Chawia CBO, Mkuki and Kamtonga.
Chawia Ward MCA Hon. Frank Kichoi and his Mwatate counterpart Hon. Abednego Mwanjala, Chawia CBO chair Mr. Gabriel Mcharo were also in attendance.