The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Mui Coal Mining Launches Today

THE multi-billion shilling coal mining in Mui Basin, Kitui County was launched yesterday after months of anxiety.

Speaking yesterday after a meeting with local leaders and the investor, Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir said that all the issues that had stalled the start of the mining process had been resolved.

Chinese firm, Fenxi Mining Industry won the tender to mine the coal deposits in the Mui basin, which is estimated to be valued at over Sh3.4 trillion. Chirchir said that once the project has been completed, the mineral could provide up to 3,500 megawatts of cheap electricity. The project will also create jobs as well as boot the economy of the county and the country at large.

The local community has complained that the government has kept them in the dark during tendering and negotiation for compensation and relocation of the current land owners. But Chirchir said that all the issues that had been raised by the local community including land adjudication and processing of titles and revenue sharing will be addressed.

Coal deposits have been discovered in four blocks and it is estimated that about 30,000 households who will have to be relocated to pave the way for the project.

Community Liaison committee led by Eric Mutua confirmed that the concerns they had raised had been addressed. During the press briefing yesterday, Governor Joseph Malombe, Senator David Musila and area MP Joe Mutambo and other local leaders were present. Also present was the voce chairman of Fenxi, Yang Wusheng.

The committee was formed for purposes of linking locals with the government and to ensure that local interest were protected.

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