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Friday, 18 November 2011

Kitui's Mineral wealth

Kitui County's range of 
mineral wealth is unveiled
 By Boniface Mulu

A policy consultant for the Kenyan government, Mr. Peter Temi Mutia, has said that it has been established that the Kitui County has one of the biggest quantities of mineral deposits in the world.

He said that the county has  the most mineral deposits in the Eastern and Central African regions. “The Kitui County is  very rich very in lime, iron ore and coal,” he said. “Europe developed because of these three components,” he added.
Mutia, who is the Regional Institute for Social Enterprise (RISE)Kenya Chief Executive Officer, said that Kenya spends some Sh 60 billion  every year to import iron ore.
He was speaking to participants during a one-day training seminar organised by the RISE Kenya to educate the people of the Kitui County on how minerals will be be exploited for the benefit of the residents,
Mr Temi Mutia
Participants were  drawn from the Kitui County. Mutia said other minerals in  County include gypsum. “If these resources are managed well, the Kitui County will be among the top four richest counties in Kenya,” Mutia said.
Temi, who is also the Kitui County Professionals Forum acting chairman said that in the next ten years the Kitui County will be giving other less able counties in Kenya relief food.
He educated the seminar participants on economic, environmental and social human rights as they relate to coal mining and other minerals.
He said: “The coal is the most hazardous  mineral. You can’t lick it. It is like petrol,” he added. He said that the coal particles cause cancer among other infections to the people. “We (the RISE Kenya) want to look at the mining aspects in the Kitui County. Our overall objective is wealth creation for the community,” the policy consultant said.
Mutia said that he has been doing research on issues on poverty in the Kitui County for five years and that currently, Kitui is one of the poorest counties in the country.  He said the non governmental organizations are planning to set up a tree nursery in the Kitui County for medicinal purposes.
He said  they are planning to  promote  Aloevera farming activities in the area for the benefit of the local community. He said that the weaving of baskets is very successful in the Ukambani region and said that NGOs are trying to commercialize it in the area.
Mutia said training for locals will commence on energy turbines soon. “We are planning to equip all the local primary schools with solar panels. We have already provided solar panels to nine primary schools in the county. Between now and March 2012 we are going to provide the panels to another 15 primary schools in the region,” he said.
Mr Mutia added that they will train people on energy turbines skills. “After training them, they will train other people on the skills,” Mutia said.
 In his lecture, the RISE Kenya Strategy and Resource Mobilisation Manager, Mr. Boniface Mutua Kavulu, said that more than 63 per cent of the Kitui County people have never heard of Administrative Justice Act in Kenya. “Up to 50 per cent have never heard of National Gender and Equality Commission Act in Kenya. Close to 50 per cent have never heard of the Elections Act,” Kavulu said. He further said: “About 80 per cent have never heard of the Kenya’s Draft Minerals and Mining Bill of 2011. Some 53 per cent are aware of the availability of coal in the county. Up to 23 per cent of the respondents do not know any disadvantages of coal mining in the county.” The RISE Kenya’s Programme Manager, Mrs. Catherine Mbiti, also spoke to the participants.


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