Communities in mining areas must be empowered – resources group
The International Alliance on National Resources in Africa (IANRA) now wants investors carrying out mining activities in the continent to fully involve communities in those areas.
IANRA said communities in different countries in Africa have been left wallowing in poverty while investors shipped billions of dollars abroad in mining proceeds.
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This emerged during the launch of a mining model law prepared by the organization at Ngondi Village in Naivasha.
According to IANRA Africa Chairman Mwikamba Maghenda, the model law, once adopted, will help governments deal with rogue investors who fleece communities.
“This model law was prepared after inputs from Kenya, DRC, Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa and we call on governments in these areas to take into consideration some of its recommendations,” said Maghenda.
Maghenda said communities in mining areas in Africa shared the same problems adding that it required concerted efforts to ensure they benefit from the resources.
“Some information on mining is usually kept secret and only the government and the investor are privy to and the model law will help communities know their rights,” he added.
“Some investors will come and do the exploration and leave with all the benefits leaving the communities poorer than they found them and this law will address some of those challenges.”
On his part, IANRA Coordinator Gilbert Sendegua said the law will also seek to empower communities to know their rights and how to deal with an investor willing to carry out mining activities.
Sendegua said that the model law will be distributed to all communities in Africa where mining is done and called on governments to see how it can be put to legislation.
In the Kenyan situation, the senior officer called on Senators to look at some of the provisions in the law so as to corporate it with the Mining Bill currently before it.
“We know that the bill in the Senate will benefit many communities but we also call on them to look at this model one and how best some of its provisions can be cooperated in it before it is passed,” said Sendegua.
Report by Karanja Kimani