The Kenyan Government Will Permit Mining Activities Inside National Parks

The government is completing a cooperative framework that will specify rules for granting controlled access to miners in Kenya’s artisanal mining subsector so they can begin operations inside national parks. Elijah Mwangi, Principal Secretary (PS) of the State Department for Mining, stated that the teams that were chosen to design the framework were harmonising the requirements and that this historic document will soon be prepared for public engagement. To work on the details of the framework that will let artisanal miners to mine in protected areas for the first time in Kenyan history, experts from the departments of mining, wildlife, and forestry were selected. This groundbreaking agreement is nearing completion and will require public input before to going into effect.

PS stated, This framework is a component of the department’s extensive reforms aimed at empowering artisanal miners and transforming the sub-sector into a dynamic economic system that fosters growth and job creation. The framework’s approaching completion represents an essential turning point in the decades-long efforts of artisanal miners to petition the state for permission to extract precious stones from the mineral-rich national parks. The most progressive action the government can take to support artisanal miners is to allow regulated access to mine in Tsavo National Park for local miners, according to Mr. David Zowe, chairperson of the Taita-Taveta Artisanal Miners’ Association. Forming cooperative organisations for artisanal miners was one of the main requirements set forward by the government to formalise the operations of the miners. The cooperatives will serve as routes for miners to enter the protected zones because they will have clear structures, registered members, and officials. In Kenya, more than 200 of these cooperatives have already been established.