The government has embarked on collecting views from residents of Kwale County over the use of multi-million shillings assets by Base Titanium as the company prepares to wind up its mining operations in the region.

According to the company reports, Base Titanium will cease its mining operations by December this year.

Afterwards, the company will officially start the process of winding up and selling the last of the remaining minerals stocks before the expiry of its special mining license by June 2025.

Principal Secretary for State Department for Mining Elijah Mwangi said the Mining Act 2016 directed all movable and non-movable assets revert back to the national and county government for custody on behalf of the Kenyans once a large-scale mining operation ceases to operate.

He added that the government has rolled out a program to commence the collect public views on how assets including land, vehicles and equipment will be utilized for the benefit of the community after the exit of the company.

“The public participation exercise is meant to ask people affected by this project on how the would want the assets left behind to be used to benefit the local residents and the large Kwale Community,” explained the PS.

Already, a Post-Mining Land Use (PMLU) committee chaired by the Mining PS has been constituted to lead the public participation exercise.

It has amongst its membership representative from Kwale County government, Members of County Assembly, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya Forest Service, MPs, Senator and County Women Representative amongst other key stakeholders.

The committee visited three villages of Kinondo, Bwiti and Mafisini for introductory meeting with the residents over what was expected from the planned activities.

The Base Titanium mining company has over 6,000 acres of land dedicated for its mining operation. The company has also engaged in extensive development of the land including established of state-of-the-art water distribution networks, drilling of boreholes, putting up of roads and construction of modern garages and workshops within its land.

Additionally, over the ten years the company has been operating in the region, it has been credited with creating hundreds of jobs for the local residents in addition to engaging in social empowerment programs that entailed construction of classrooms, equipping of health facilities and supporting extensive environmental conservation programs by the community.

With the company’s multi-million assets poised to revert back to the government once the company exits, the likelihood of job losses by workers and stoppage of corporate social responsibility program loom large.

As part of cushioning the community against the adverse ripple effects triggered by the exit of the company, ministry of mining and Kwale County government are working closely through the PLMU committee to engage the public on proposals over use of those assets to benefit the community.

The public participation exercise is slotted to start in July. The stakeholders expected to give their proposals include local community, Community-Based Organizations, faith-based groups and professional associations amongst others. The committee will then generate a report for validation that will be handed over to the Mining Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya by November.

Mswambeni MP Feisal Abdallah urged the committee to be all inclusive by getting views from all stakeholders. He added that the process needed transparency for the final report to be widely accepted.

“We need to have everyone on board for the final report to be adopted and accepted by all stakeholders,” he said.

While welcoming the committee’s announcement of public participation exercise, the residents expressed optimism that the committee will conclusively address contentious issues of demarcation of boundaries between the company’s land and community areas.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *