Following an outcry by residents of Alupe in Teso South Sub County, area MP Mary Emase now wants the Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kidiki to secure the area from encroachers from a neighbouring country, whom she said were mining gold illegally in Kenyan land.
Speaking at Alupe after the visit in the area, Emase accused security officers in the area for turning a blind eye to the matter despite several complaints from residents about the ongoing pollution on the land.
“When you visit Alupe along the border, you will find huge ditches scattered all over an area measuring more than five hectares of illegal goal miners from Uganda who carry out their activities at night with an aim at securing one of the most valuable minerals in the world,” said Emase.
The lawmaker now wants police to intensify patrols along the border to protect the residents from gold miners who are always armed, posing a big threat to the lives of locals who can no longer cultivate their land for fear of being attacked.
“The miners from Uganda are always armed, as they know they have encroached on our land. “Even the Chinese company doing underground mining in Uganda has caused cracks in many buildings on the Kenyan side, clear evidence of illegal mining on our side,” she added.
Last month, Busia Deputy Governor Arthur Odera launched the initiative of enacting a law through the County Assembly that will control mining, especially of sand and gold, to avoid degrading wetlands that are sources of water for residents and destroying the habitat of aquatic animals.
Odera noted that sand mining has reduced the wetlands’ natural function of water filtering, thereby harming aquatic life.
He said the miners have encroached on more than 40 per cent of the wetlands at Alupe and Odioi areas in the name of gold and sand.
Emase now wants the government to gazette the Alupe area in Teso South and the Bumutiri area as mining areas and streamline the industry to enable locals to benefit from the lucrative business.
By Absalom Namwalo