Miners tell Lenku: We are sorry we neglected locals

By Kurgat Marindany

Kajiado miners and extractors of natural resources recently surprisingly admitted they have neglected the Maasai community by not considering them in their corporate social responsibility programmes.
The miners said they have been unable to invest in corporate social responsibility in the area for lack of a framework to do so.
The miners told Governor Joseph ole Lenku some of the projects they had taken up some years back stalled after the former County Government failed to engage them in a structured manner, forcing them to abandon their projects.
“We are guilty of neglecting the community where we do business. We had some projects including hospitals and schools but they are no more,” said the Miners’ Association Chairman, Raju Vekaria.
Vekaria said they were ready to start a new partnership on sustainable mining by setting up a CSR kitty to address the community’s problems.
Vekaria also lamented that land owners who leased them were sabotaging sustainable mining by refusing them to fill back the gullies and asked the County Government to intervene.
The miners spoke in a tension packed meeting with Lenku in Kajiado Town after he summoned them over alleged destruction of environment and roads in Iloodokilani in Kajiado West Sub County.
Lenku had threatened to withdraw their licenses and close down their quarries if the owners were not ready to start community projects in their areas of operation. He ordered them to rehabilitate the roads leading to their quarries.
He also ordered a review of the miners’ database to establish rogue miners who were not paying county levies.
“Your work has led to massive infrastructural destruction. We want you to jointly rehabilitate the KMQ Road and assist in hospital and education community projects,” appealed Lenku.
The Governor formed a commission to oversee implementation of the new partnership and named the county’s Lands Chief Officer Moses Murunya as the chairman.
Other members will be the county’s roads CEC Member Alex Kilowua, and Chief Officers James Sankale (Environment) and Morris Kaaka (Finance).
The miners will be represented by Pius Mureithi (Nevilla), Raju Vekaria (Vekaria Construction) and William Shompole (Shompole Minerals) among others.

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