The Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources today, raised its concerns over diminishing land and the need for more support to small scale miners to the Natural Resources Ministers.
At its regular meeting at Parliament building, Committee Chairman, opposition Member of Parliament, Odinga Lumumba told the Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and Minister within the Ministry Simona Broomes that, “One of the considerations that we have to look at is not only establishing giving them land, but the supportive mechanism to make sure they exist,” Lumumba said.
Lumumba contended that the definition of small scale miners has to be re-evaluated even as he highlighted the excessive cost of mining in the gold industry. He pointed out that short-term financing and access to equipment are essential if the small scale miner is to survive.
Minister Broomes, acknowledging the struggle of small scale miners, explained that she has addressed these concerns with Minister Trotman. “I agree it is something that needs to be looked at. I will agree with you that there are categories of miners who really need this support in terms of equipment, financing and not only access to land,” Broomes told the Committee Members.
The Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources told Lumumba that the Ministry would welcome working with the committee “to fashion something” to address the situation.
Meanwhile, Minister Trotman told the Committee Members that the recently re-constituted committee on land reclamation is seeking to address the issue of available land for mining.