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Governor Barasa wants gold company to suspend operations

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa wants Shanta Gold Exploration company to halt operations over lack of clear guidelines on how locals would benefit from exploration and mining.

He said the investor should temporarily suspend operations and engage with the county government to agree on how residents would benefit from the Gold refinery business.

“The move to temporarily halt Shanta Gold’s exploration aligns with the county government’s efforts to strike a balance between economic development and safeguarding the interests of the community,” disclosed Governor Barasa, noting that he would not allow any form of exploitation of artisanal miners.

Instead, he promised the locals that the county government is working closely with Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali to establish a Gold Refinery in the constituency with support from the National government.

“Our priority in collaboration with MP Bernard Shinali is to ensure we have a Gold Refinery in Ikolomani constituency within the next 12 months,” he noted.

The Governor urged the National Government to support the construction of the refinery in Kakamega where many artisanal miners are concentrated and has a lot of gold reserves.

“I understand the National Government had proposed to establish a Gold Refinery in Siaya but as leaders of Western region and Kakamega specifically, we want a Gold Refinery to be established in Ikolomani because we have many artisanal miners in the sub county,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the governor has asked the National Treasury to release funds to counties which he claimed were facing a severe financial crunch.

He said counties have not received funds from the National Government for the last three consecutive months.

“The prolonged delay in the disbursement of funds from the National government has triggered a ripple effect, severely impacting the day-to-day operations in counties. Critical sectors such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure development are facing challenges as resources remain scarce,” he added.

By Moses Wekesa

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