By yoana kimwele
Kitui Deputy Governor Dr wathe Nzau on Saturday 23/2/2019 led a team of Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources officials in participating at the First Taita Taveta County Minerals & Gemstones Export Promotion Exhibition on Saturday at Voi town
The Deputy Governor Dr. Wathe Nzau upon arriving was warmly received by Taita taveta Deputy Governor HE Madam Mujala mlagui, and kitui environment and natural resources executive member hon John Makau and the value chain specialist in the office of Governor Dr Temi Mutia.
Counties with rich Minerals deposits will be required to have an extractives strategy in place, gazette artisanal mining committees and identify areas that Artisanal miners will carry out their operations in order to streamline the extractives sector Kitui Deputy Governor Told the stakeholders .
According to JKP CEO Emmanuel Nzai, the counties have six months to effect the initiatives which were arrived at during the 2nd Extractives Sector Working group to harmonise JKP extractive sector policy paper.
The six counties kitui being one will also have to come up with a framework for proper zoning to spearhead mapping of mining sites Dr wathe has said
The Taita Taveta department of Lands and Mining and kitui sister ministry has already kick started the process of mapping sand harvesting zones, kitui executive member in charge of Environment and natural resources hon john makua has said.
They have also agreed that a dispute resolving mechanism should be put in place by the devolved units to resolve misunderstanding between miners, communities and other social institutions he added
Speaking during the closure of the two days workshop in Voi, kitui deputy Governor Dr wathe Nzau reiterated the government commitment in line with the kitui Environment and natural resources to come up with the right mechanism to fast track the process.
Taita taveta Mining Natural Resources CECM Getrude Shuwe said the County will procure some equipment which will assist the miners remove the top soil from the quarries.
“We can help the miners with equipment. We shall purchase some equipment this year and when we have them in place then we can assist the miners,” said Mrs Shuwe who was responding to a query by the chair of the Artisanal Association of Taita Taveta County Rev. David Zowe who requested the County to provide excavators to artisanal miners.
She said the County will work closely with the Gemstones Value Addition center in Voi to market minerals extracted by artisanal miners most of whom don’t have access to international markets.
The counties will also identify areas in which new policies and laws will link mining with other sectors of the economy.