Nagetei – 20th June, 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)

Artisanal miners in Turkana have been urged by a joint team of National and County officials to join existing or establish new cooperative societies to grow their enterprise activities.

At a sensitisation exercise conducted at Nagetei gold mines in Lokichar Ward, Turkana South, the miners were informed of the benefits of financial and marker access for joining cooperatives.

Speaking at the community engagement meeting, Deputy Director for Mineral Resources, Areman Elim, assured the artisanal miners of County’s support by providing training, technical assistance, and financial support.

“We recognize the vital role artisanal miners play in the local economy, therefore the department is committed to support the miners growth and development,” he stated.

The Regional Minerals Officer, Nahashon Cheboi said that the National Government is working closely with the County in empowering artisanal miners. He added that cooperatives have potential to improve miners bargaining power and access to finance for acquisition of modern tools for their business.

During the engagement, Assistant Director for Cooperatives Audit services, Francis Abongo, sensitised the miners on the legal issues and procedures of forming cooperatives. He insisted that cooperative formations were guided by law and opened up opportunities for access to cooperative funds from state and non-state actors.

Nagetei’s artisanal miners have long faced challenges such as lack of access to modern mining equipment, fluctuating market prices, and limited bargaining power.

A local miner at Nagetei Lopurukou village, Allan Ekamais, voiced his support for the initiative. He said, “We have been working individually for years with little to show for our hard work. Coming together as a cooperative will give us more strength and opportunities. I am hopeful for a brighter future for all of us.”

According to Areman Elim, plans were underway to sensitize artisanal miners at their respective mining sites in Kapua, Naduat and Lolupe on formation of cooperatives.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024