Help miners get licences to mine in Tsavo, Ruto told

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Taita Taveta artisanal miners want Deputy President William Ruto to help them acquire licences to mine inside the Tsavo National Park.

Speaking during an economic forum organised by the Kenya Kwanza Alliance at Lumo Community Wildlife Conservancy on Tuesday, the miners said precious stones are lying idle in the protected area.

They said only a few people connected to top government officials are allowed to extract the gemstones.

“We plead with you to create a way for small scale miners to benefit from the gemstones once you ascend to power. We are being denied an opportunity to mine our gemstones,” miner Gift Mwadime said.

Mwadime said many artisanal miners were unable to sustain mining activities due to a lack of modern equipment and exploitation by middlemen and unscrupulous businessmen.

DP Ruto on Tuesday started his four-day tour of the Coastal region to solidify support for his presidential bid.

He will tour Kwale for two rallies at Vigurungani in Kinango and Kidimu in Lunga Lunga. Ruto has planned 11 rallies from Tuesday to Friday.

He will have two rallies in Kwale, three rallies in Mombasa, three rallies in Kilifi, two rallies in Tana River and one in Lamu.

The DP will also have five economic forums in the five counties of the region.

Responding to various questions and proposals from residents, Ruto said his administration will be keen on empowering small businesses.

He said the government will set aside Sh100 billion to finance the value addition, manufacturing and agro-processing sectors.

Ruto said his administration shall work closely with the county government to ensure residents are allowed to mine inside the park.

“The law allows for mining in the national park with a recommendation from the county government. We will ensure the law is fully enacted,” Ruto said.

He asked MCAs to formulate policies in line with the Mining Act to protect artisanal miners.

Ruto was accompanied by Kenya Kwanza Coast region coordinator and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Woman Representative Lydia Haika and former Governor John Mruttu among other leaders.

He said they will amend the Wildlife Management Act 2013 to set a time frame for compensation of human-wildlife conflict claims after many complaints.

The DP is banking on economic forums to popularise his bottom-up economic model across the country.

 

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