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Government shuts down illegal gold mining in Moyale

The Government has shut down illegal gold mining, with immediate effect at the Illo area of Dabel location, Moyale Sub-County of Marsabit County.

Speaking during a Public Baraza at Illo, Moyale Deputy County Commissioner, Stanley Too, said the miners were sinking very deep holes to crush stones in their artisanal activities, without minding the environmental impact they were posing to both human beings and animals.

Consequently, Too directed those involved in the mining activities to stop operations within seven days, following a notice issued by the Moyale Sub-county Public Health Officer, Abdi Suku.

The notice indicated that thousands of people were living in newly built makeshifts, while others were conducting small scale businesses and that the miners were operating in unhygienic eateries posing dangers of disease outbreak.

The notice further indicated that there were no adequate sanitation facilities like latrines to serve the high number of people in the area, while at the same time there were dozens of open abandoned holes, which were posing a grave danger to both animals and human beings.

Suku further said the decision was reached following a reported cholera outbreak within the site, where four people tested positive for the disease, besides two deaths that were reportedly caused by severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

The Public Health Officer in the letter further said that the miners were contravening the Public Health Act (Cap 242) as well as Occupational Act and Health 2007.

While addressing the miners, Too said that the sub-county Security Committee had established that there was the existence of aliens from Ethiopia, Somalia and other nations who were in the country illegally, thus posing a security threat in the area.

“Do you know that this illegal mining is denying both the National and the County Government a lot of revenue and that there were laid down critical issues between mining and environmental conservation, to ensure that the sector operates within the approved standards of health, safety, human rights and environment protection?” he posed.

The Administrator warned that whoever will be found within the area after the elapse of the seven-day notice will be dealt with according to the law.

Too was accompanied by the entire Moyale Sub-County Security Committee members and Ministry of Health Officials among others.

By Gatana Muchira

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