The national government through the ministry of Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs is on the final touches of developing a revenue-sharing formula with natural resource-rich counties.
Speaking at Kishushe’s iron ore-rich gorge in Taita Sub-county, Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs CS Salim Mvurya assured Taita Taveta County of the national government’s commitment to give royalties to the county administration and the local communities as a way of spurring economic growth and decrease levels of poverty.
“The national government through the ministry is working on the final details of the Mining Act and soon royalties to the counties and local communities will be effected once all the legislation processes are in place,” said Mvurya.
The CS further hinted that the revenue-sharing formula will be anchored on the Mining Act 2016, which stipulated the sharing of proceeds from natural resources to be shared in seventy, twenty, and ten percent amongst the national government, devolved units, and local communities respectively.
Appreciating the gesture and pronouncements by the CS, Taita Taveta County Governor, Andrew Mwadime, said Taita Taveta is rich in resources and it is high time that part of the revenue goes back to the devolved unit and the locals.
“We appreciate the progress in the mining act and it is high time that the county and locals enjoy part of the revenue from its expansive natural resources,” said Mwadime.
Speaking on the same matter, Wundanyi MP, Danson Mwashako, said that on top of the royalties, mining companies should also be legislatively held responsible for undertaking Community Social Responsibility (CSR) programs within the areas of their exploitation to empower and support communities.
“On top of the royalties, mining companies should be held legally responsible for carrying out CSR programs in their areas of operation to empower and uplift the lives of locals,” said Mwashako.
Later in the day, the CS visited Voi Gemstone Centre and met the leadership of the county’s artisanal miners and urged them to form cooperative societies as an end to tap financial resources from private and government entities.
By Arnold Linga Masila