February 15, 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)

The County Government of Turkana, through the Department of Energy, Petroleum, and Mineral Resources, has distributed four ball mill machines to gold artisanal miners at Locheremoit, Lolupe, and Moruongor.

It is estimated that thousands are directly engaged in artisanal mining for economic gain at different sites across Turkana, rich in deposits of gold and a variety of precious stones.

Speaking at Lolupe during the handing over of the machines to the miners, Director for Mineral Resources, Stanley Loter, said that the move was meant to enhance safety and spur productivity in line with the Governor’s nine-point agenda for Turkana.

“Our assessment revealed that Artisanal miners in Turkana relied on physical digging that was slow, physically exhausting, and even life-threatening. This equipment will make the process faster, safer, and more productive,” said Director Loter.

He clarified that three other pieces of equipment will be issued. “Two ball mill machines will go to Locheremoit in Turkana South, while the last machine will go to Moruongor in Loima,” he said.

The director highlighted that the equipment would place the miners at an advantage in generating more revenue from the mining trade owing to the conveniences afforded by the machine.

While addressing the use of the equipment, Director Loter said that he expected the miners to form groups for controlled utilisation of the machines without causing chaos and unnecessary competition.

While receiving the machine, the chair of the Lolupe Artisanal Miners Association Joseph Ekiru appreciated the county government for the machines as it was a sign that the County Government was committed to addressing the welfare of the Artisanal miners numbering up to ten thousand.

“We have indeed been using labour-intensive methods of digging as such most of us have succumbed to exhaustion, disease, and even death,” he said.

Present during the handover included Mining officers Micklam Eregae, Michael Ejikon Hellen Lokaale (Accountant), and Jackson Emanman procurement officer.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024