The Ministry of Mining has been challenged to speed up the gazettement of Community Development Agreement Committees so that communities around mining areas can fully benefit from their resources.
Taita Taveta County Deputy Governor Majala Mlagui has said.
Speaking at the Voi Wildlife hotel in Voi this evening during an artisanal miners’ workshop, Mlagui noted that there is need to focus on Community Development Agreement Committees and Corporate Social Responsibility.
“You need to emulate the Kishushe people who have moved with speed and ensured that their Community Development Agreement Committee is gazzeted. This will ensure they benefit from iron ore being mined in the area. The gazette notice has appeared today,” she said.
This will help in development of schools, health facilities, transport systems and water projects, depending on the community’s priorities.
The Mining Act of 2016 provides for the establishment of Community Development Agreements (CDAs).
With the CDAs, the companies are obliged to support community development initiatives.
She noted that the county government is committed to supporting artisanal miners through capacity building initiatives in collaboration with other development partners.
Mlagui also called on the National government to fasttrack the operationalization of a Sh50 million gemstone value addition center in Voi.
She wondered why the facility is taking too long to open its doors to mining dealers to add value to their gemstones before selling them locally and internationally.
“We donated land for this project which was unanimously supported by our people. We have a very beautiful building and fantastic equipment but it’s sad that the facility is yet to start benefitting us because the gemstone value addition center has not been commissioned officially,” she said.
The center will provide a wide range of services including stone cutting and polishing, banking, a gemstone laboratory, a buying Centre, among others.
It is one of the government’s mining flagship projects in the country.
The county is blessed with various gemstones including Tsavorite, green garnet, Tanzanite, rubi, tourmaline, red garnets, copper and iron ore.