Women and youths from Samburu have been encouraged to engage in artisanal mining in order to tap the mineral potential in the county.
Mining and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary (CS) John Munyes said that Samburu has a mineral potential ranging from gold, manganese, copper, zinc, uranium, iron ore and many more.
He said that locals who are interested in taking up small scale mining should form artisanal mining cooperatives to be chaired by the area governor so that the government can offer them training, equipment and issue them with mining permits.
I believe this is a long term solution to lack of jobs to youths in mineral rich counties and that is why the government wants to increase artisanal miners from 140,000 to 500,000 across the country, Munyes said.
The CS noted that mining contributes 0.9 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the government aims at increasing it to 10 percent in the next five years by engaging county governments and residents in mineral rich areas.
Devolution will help in developing the mining industry by engaging county governments and sensitise locals on the quantity of minerals they sit on and their roles in the mining process. The potential is there let’s now actualise it into financial gains, he said.
He encouraged local and foreign investors to do mining prospects in Samburu adding that the government will provide security.
Munyes was speaking in Archers Post town in Samburu East Sub County Monday, where he toured a manganese mining site while accompanied by Samburu county governor Moses Lenolkulal and other ministry officials.
The county governor Moses Lenolkulal said his government was ready to partner with the ministry to streamline issues to do with licensing, community consent and management.
He requested the ministry of petroleum and mining to conduct a full exploration and document the available minerals in the county.
The governor offered scholarships to youths from Samburu County willing to study geology.
The county government has been advertising a geologist position since 2014 in vain now it’s high time we educate our own, he said.
Source: Kenya News Agency