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Concern over non-adherence to mining safety protocols

Turkana County Chief Officer for the Department of Minerals, Energy, and Petroleum, Triza Amoni, has expressed concern over the uncontrolled use of explosives and dangerous chemicals used during mining.

Residents of Naduat at a gold mining site. Photo by Peter Gitonga

Speaking to residents of Naduat after inspecting a collapsed mine site, the Chief Officer warned that stern action will be taken against the culprits.

She at the same time asked the gold miners to prioritise safety in their operations, particularly in the use of explosives.

The Chief Officer and a technical team visited Naduat after receiving reports alleging that miners used explosives to mine gold from the site, terming it very dangerous and life-threatening.

She warned of severe consequences, including a potential ban, withdrawal of mining permits, or both, for breaching safety compliance requirements.

The CO added that the county had invested in the mining sector to boost its productive potential through capacity building for miners in various key areas of concern.

“I expect those trained to apply their knowledge of safety precautions and transfer the same knowledge to other miners in the county,” she said.

Director for Mining Stanley Loter said the exercise to weed out quacks and unscrupulous dealers in the sector had commenced following the receipt of several complaints from the residents and stakeholders.

Loter said, “The misuse of explosives could degrade the environment, expose residents to health hazards, and affect the sustainability prospects of the productive mining sites.”

Naduat mining site is renowned for gold and quarry stones that support the construction industry. It thus provides direct employment opportunities to many people, who in turn support the mining sector.

Assistant Chief for Naduat, Andrew Akolom, welcomed the call for adherence to safety, describing the warnings as well-intentioned to protect both the workforce and the surrounding environment from the inherent risks associated with misuse of explosives and banned chemicals.

During the inspection, the county’s technical team held discussions with members of the Naduat mine site leadership and later reached an agreement on the need for a joint effort in enforcing safety compliance measures.

By Peter Gitonga

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