Social Development

Issues and Challenges

The nature of ASM has both positive and negative impacts on the social development of miners and the mining communities.  Many unskilled individuals in the local community including women go into mining as an important source of their livelihoods.  The mining income improves education standards (SDG4), the health and well-being (SDG3) of miners and their dependents, and significantly improves the socio-economic welfare of women (SDG5) and other disadvantaged members of the society.

A large cross-section of miners and wage laborers have no formal education.  They also possess limited technical, marketing, management or financial skills and competencies.  The lack basic personal protective and broadly the poor occupational health and safety practices in the sector expose miners to health risks. 

The socio-economic development in Taita Taveta is evident in the growth in the last decade of mining towns such as Mwatate and Kasigau. Unfortunately, the growth has come with unintended consequences such as the increase in prostitution and alcohol trade. Marriage breakups, caused by absence of husbands from their families for long periods of time, are some of the social ills reported. Gemstone mining has also led to an influx of new people (i.e. investors, traders, workers) into the county, and this is contributing to an increase in real estate prices to the disadvantage of the poor members in the mining community.

The mines are also located in remove areas with harsh mining conditions and the women are more susceptible to sexual harassment and attacks.  Women lack the means of production due to the patriarchal culture which denies them the rights to decision-making and land ownership. Nonetheless, although women have limited knowledge of enterprise development and access to large start-up capital from financial institutions, they are using their ingenuity and investing in the sector as mine concession owners.

Key Thematic Clusters and Actions

Health and Well-being

  • Train and provide miners with personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Put in place system for First Aid provision in mining organizations
  • Develop and monitor occupational health and safety system for miners particularly for women miners
  • Develop and promote system for psychosocial and clinical support for miners particularly vulnerable groups
  • Establish a repository of accredited counsellors for 24/7 miner counseling service
  • Strengthen training and awareness on matters health and safety in the mines
  • Enforce the implementation of the health and safety regulations
  • Put in place a physical audit system for the mines

Gender mainstreaming in ASM

  • Identify leverage points to enhance women participation in ASM processes
  • Provide training opportunities to develop women’s technical, leadership, marketing, value addition, management and financial competencies
  • Develop mechanisms to reduce gendered pay gap
  • Establish local groups/centers and mechanisms to prevent gender-based violence in ASM supply chain
  • Ensure women representation on all regulatory committees, forums and boards
  • Enhance the reproductive health capacities of the miners
  • Set up Police gender based violence (GBV)desks in areas prevalent to the violence

Security System

  • Identify best practices and develop methodologies for community policing in mining areas
  • Develop capacity building programmes to upgrade knowledge, skills and technologies on issues around human-wildlife conflict and crime management
  • Promote use of boundary demarcations and electric fences to ensure security
  • Develop legislation to curb robbery in addition to trespass
  • Develop and strengthen local community groups for community-led monitoring and security provision

Pillars of Sustainable Mining

Clean Energy

Artisanal and small-scale mining activities has spurred infrastructural development in the county where access to water, roads, communication

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