The government of Uganda is going to register all local artisans in all mining areas of Kitumbi and Bukuya Sub counties as a way of combating illegal mining activities.
This follows a discovery by government of Uganda about the presence of an influx of people amongst which are foreigners from neighboring countries and beyond that are involved in illegal mining in areas of Kitumbi and Bukuya Sub counties in Mubende district.
In a statement that was issued today from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr. Stephen Isabalija, the permanent secretary at the ministry, said that the presence of the foreigners in these areas is a threat to the locals as well as the mining sector since they are using rudimentary machines in the process which are harmful to the environment.
“These people do not only use rudimentary methods such as hoes, spades and basins to pan and extract gold but some of them undertake highly mechanized mining operations such as using bulldozers to excavate the ore; use sophisticated machines to crush and grind the ore; and also use mercury and cyanide in the processing of gold,” DR. Isabalija said in a statement.
He added: “these have resulted into environmental degradation and also affected the health and safety of the people in the areas of these mining operations. In addition, the presence of foreigners in these areas can result into a security threat to the people of the area and the country at large.”
In order to address the above mentioned problems, government under MEMD will register the local miners in the same areas and organize them into groups which will be easy to regulate.
This intervention is anticipated to take three (3) months and will subsequently help the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to re-organize mining activities in Mubende area and the country at large.
The Intervention will be supported by Uganda Police Force; Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces’ Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control under the Ministry of Internal Affairs; and will be led by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.