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Kenya: Chinese mining companies are depriving small-scale miners of their livelihood, according to locals

Author: Dominic Kirui, The Epoch Times, Published on: 20 May 2019

"Chinese Companies Depriving Locals of Livelihood in Small-Scale Mining in Africa", 20 May 2019.

...Penina Omondi is busy sieving sand as she searches for gold particles together with her husband, Daniel Omondi...this is their new way to make a living, after having had to move several miles away from home where they used to mine sand. A Chinese company had come to their remote village with heavy equipment and started mining the same sand...“We have been doing this for the past few months after leaving home in search of a source of income...so that we could secure a future for our children by paying for their school fees and other needs until recently when another Chinese company came here and started digging up the gold mines again,” Penina Omondi told The Epoch Times...

Last year, irate residents in nearby Osiri set fire to an excavator belonging to a Chinese company...The protests held last year by the residents prompted Nyatike member of Parliament (MP) Tom Odege to file a petition at the high court in Migori, challenging the legality of a Chinese company that was mining gold in the area while also degrading the environment. The verdict was served in January year, with the court ordering the Chinese company, Lijin Mining Company Limited, to stop the mining of gold in the area...some Chinese companies in Nyatike still seem to be able to operate in violation of the law. In the gold-mining court petition, the area MP accused some local leaders of allowing the operations to continue after allegedly getting kickbacks from the companies...

Abdul Barnabas, the site manager for Kylyn Works Limited, the Chinese-owned company carrying out the mining in the area, admits that when they moved in, they saw locals carrying sand in buckets within the area. “But what we are offering the locals is a road network that we will build to enable us to carry the sand and deliver it to our customers,” Barnabas said. “We have also promised to have them open an account where we will deposit Ksh500 ($5) per truck filled with sand and sold for the community living along the river to later share,” he said...

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