KENYAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO PROBE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS AT MINING AREAS

The Kenya National Commission on Human rights will institute a public inquiry into alleged human rights violations associated with mining activities in Taita Taveta County in southwestern Kenya, about 360 kilometres south east of here.

The commission says it has already received complaints from individuals and groups about oppression in the mining companies and has deployed several officers to ascertain the veracity of the complaints as a first step towards addressing the issues.

Artisanal and small-scale miners in Taita Taveta County who prospect for the minerals have raised concern over their forceful eviction from the land by powerful and well connected large-scale prospectors, miners and traders.

According to local residents, some powerful individuals claim legal ownership of the land as soon as the locals discover mineral deposits.

Residents around mining areas in the county have also complained of police harassment and brutality at the behest of powerful individuals, sexual and gender-based violence and poor working conditions for mine workers.

This has led to the Commission initiating investigations in the Taita Taveta sub-counties of Voi, Mwatate and Wundayi. The commission says the findings and recommendations of this inquiry will be published and shared with key players in both public and private sector in the interest of safeguarding the population.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK