By Mwakwaya Raymond
Government will conduct a comprehensive geo-survey to ascertain the kind and availability of minerals within the country.
Salim Mvurya, mining and blue economy cabinet secretary, says data gathered from the survey will enable the government to make conclusive decisions on the viability of the minerals.
Though the newly appointed CS is very much conversant with the final report of the nationwide airborne geophysical survey unveiled by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in June this year, he admits that it was not done conclusively.
Under a multi-agency project, the Joint National and Resource Mapping (JNAM) released a current geospatial data covering the entire country.
The eight projects developed under JNAM mapped out schools, road reserves, forest cover and encroached areas.
The project also developed a current cadaster for Nairobi County identifying its public lands, green spaces, health facilities, schools, roads and road reserves.
The JNAM team of young Kenyan professionals mapped out a wide range of base metals, coal, gemstones, geothermal spots, water bodies, precious metals and rare earth elements.
Mvurya, speaking on November 4, 2022 at Mombasa Agricultural Trade Fair, alleges there is no meaningful information on the state of minerals.
The country, in his view, relies on inconclusive surveys conducted years ago by private international organizations in their mother countries.
Such information has denied the country some royalties as most minerals are exported with very little knowledge of the government officials.
“Of late, we’ve seen large amounts of minerals being exported on claims that they are being taken for verification and nothing comes back on the same.”
To stop this, the ministry will ‘soon’ come up with some legislation that will help govern the mining industry for the good of the locals and the country at large.
He outlined once the new legislation comes into force application for any mining activity shall be done online for efficiency and value for money.
He says the legislation will also indicate the kind of intervention the government will put in place to assist locals who venture into mining who’ve been conducting their activities on very dangerous environment.
The security of miners has always been at stake and the situation is getting dire every day.
He singled out the Gem miners in Taita Taveta who use some torch as they search for minerals in deep dark caves saying that will be a thing of the past once the legislation is approved by the Parliament.
However, Mvurya said some surveys are already being undertaken in some parts of the Country though on a low note adding that soon the government will roll out a comprehensive plan to conduct a country wide geo Survey exercise.
He added that Kenyans cannot withstand the move by some international Organizations that take advantage of the law and smuggle out large amounts of Kenyan minerals on claims to conduct verification that never comes to an end.
‘we want to understand exactly what quantity of which minerals are found within the Kenyan boundaries because we cannot just assume that there are minerals which we cannot ascertain of their availability” CS Mvurya explained.
On the issue of fishing the Cabinet Secretary said the government is mapping out Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) that will be used for fishing and other Blue Economy activities.
He said the government will no longer allow the exportation of raw fish to other parts of the world with no regard of the local’s economic input.
He said the kshs.3.5 Billion grant given to the Jumuiya ya County za Pwani by the European Union under the Go Blue program will go a long way in revamping not only the fishing industry but the Blue Economy expensive activities as well.
Through the Chief Officer Jumuiya ya County za Pwani Emmanuel Nzai the Coast Economic Block received a grant of 3.5 Billion to enhance the livelihoods of the families living along the Coastal line by engaging in income generating activities.
Mvurya who is the first Chairman of the Jumuiya ya County za Pwani, noted that value addition to fish will be paramount before any export is undertaken an activity that will be actualized through the Jumuiya funded programs.
‘The government will enhance the fishing industry by ear making all fish landing sites, supplying them with cooling facilities to be able to store large quantities of fish, add value later export them” Mvurya added amidst applause.
Landing sites such as Liwatoni, Shimoni, Kilifi and many more have already been identified for upgrading to enable fishermen conduct their activities at a more conducive environment.
Jumuiya is now set to conduct the 4th Agribusiness and Blue Economy Investment conference (JABAIC) 2022 at Hola in Tana River Early December.