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Reopen iron ore mining, Kitui South residents urge Governor Malombe

Residents of Timboni village in Athi Ward, Kitui South Sub County in Kitui County are calling upon governor Julius Malombe to consider reopening iron ore mining in the area after the mining process was halted five years ago.

Residents of Timboni area in Kitui South and officers from the Center For Human Rights and Civic Education touring the mining sites in Timboni. MWINGI TIMES

The residents are saying that they have gone through untold suffering since the mining of iron-rich stones was stopped way back in 2018, stopping the only source of livelihood for them.

Details of the plight of the residents emerged during a meeting between them and the Center for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRCE), an NGO which had visited the area to listen to the cries of residents and help them fight for their rights.

Patrice Musembi, a resident of the area told MWINGI TIMES that iron ore mining has been taking place in the area since 1986 and residents have benefitted a lot since then, until the mining was halted by former governor Charity Ngilu, promising to seek a better market for the commodity.

Musembi urged the current governor Dr. Julius Malombe to reopen mining and issue new licenses to new buyers so that residents may start benefitting again from the precious stones.

Penina Moses, another resident of Timboni also said that iron ore has been the sole source of livelihood for residents and since the mining was stopped, residents have been going through many challenges.

She urged the governor to reopen the artisanal mining so that residents may continue benefiting.

Pamela Musembi, a business lady from the area also narrated the plight of residents since mining was stopped. She said that poverty has hit the residents hard with some residents being unable to get any meal for days.

She also said that children have been affected with some dropping out of school and others engaging in drug abuse due to idleness.


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