The Sustainable Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (Sust-ASM) project is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to support the development of a more responsible and inclusive gemstone mining in Kenya. The project team is cross-disciplinary with academics from the social sciences, engineering, health and humanities in the UK and Kenya. We draw on the local knowledge, skills and technologies of miners and mining stakeholders (i.e. the national and local governments, mining associations, community based organisations, non-governmental organizations, local communities and religious organisations) to co-create context driven bottom-up solutions that mitigate the impact of ASM activities on the natural environment (SDG13), occupational health and safety (SDG3.9; SDG8.8), and the social inclusion and well-being of miners and local communities (SDG8, SDG3, SDG1).
The main project location for this project is Taita Taveta County. The main researchers are based at Nottingham University, UK. The UK-based researchers are working in collaboration with colleagues at Taita Taveta University
The key intention of this project is to support the development of responsible and sustainable Artisanal and small-scale Gemstone mining and small-scale mining for social and economic development in Taita Taveta.
The project adopts a bottom-up research methodology, namely, Cultural Animation. This elevates the voice of mining communities and promotes dialogue and cooperation with other stakeholders to co-create a more responsible and inclusive ASM sector in Kenya.
A 2 day Mining Stakeholders Cultural Animation Workshop in Voi. The cultural animation workshop brought together mining stakeholders in Taita Taveta County on 13th and 14th of November, 2019. The stakeholders included artisanal and small-scale miners, the County Government, the National Government, civil society organizations, community-based mining organizations, academia, mining associations, and religious organizations. The participants used songs, dances, story-telling, observations, and interviews to discuss and map out a sustainable mining future in Taita Taita.
The SustASM Research Team paying a courtesy call to Prof. Fred Simiyu Baraza, Vice Chancellor Taita Taveta University. From left to right: Prof. Mihaela Kelemen, Dr. Judy Muthuri, Prof. Baraza, Dr. Lara Bianchi, Ms. Sue Moffat and Eng. Arthur Ndegwa.
The Trainer of Trainer cultural animation workshop was aimed at inculcating in the participants, knowledge and skills in cultural animation as a methodology of research. It was targeted at the academics of Taita Taveta University whose areas of specializations fall within Social Sciences, Mining, Engineering, and Agriculture.
The SustASM project team, together with some academic staff of Taita Taveta University visited Classic (a small-scale mine) and Chawia Community Based Organization (an artisanal mine) mines. This was an opportunity to learn about the various mining techniques employed, and the social-environmental impact of the mining activities.