American Tourist Comes To The Aid Of Small-Scale Artisan Gold Miners In Trans Mara

After visiting Kenya as a tourist in 2018, Matt Hales, an American citizen, toured Trans Mara County when he was on vacation where he met small scale artisan gold miners.

TRANS MARA, Kenya, September 24, 2020 – In Lolgorian, Transmara, Narok County over 3,000  small scale artisan gold miners have a reason to smile after an American tourist donated to them safety gear and mining equipment.

They too have received training and entrepreneurship empowerment skills to enable them scale-up productivity in the mining industry.

After visiting Kenya as a tourist in 2018, Matt Hales, an American citizen, toured Trans Mara County when he was on vacation where he met small scale artisan gold miners.  The hardship, sweat and manpower they put in to extract and process gold touched him to extend a helping hand.

Out of curiosity on how miners were using outdated methods in mining gold in the area, Matt came back to Kenya again particularly to help the miners with the new technology to extract gold, process and sell to their customers without using mercury and energy.

Matt came up with the idea of Farmers Of Gold as a self-help group to train the miners on the importance and dangers of mining.

 

Matt came up with the idea of Farmers Of Gold as a self-help group to train the miners on the importance and dangers of mining. Through the Farmers of Gold, the tourist contacted his friends and UNDP who are supporting him to empower the miners to achieve their dreams.

“I was touched, the poor miners are using mercury with bare hands to extract and sell the small gold they get. When we have gotten the rocks, we grind it into fine soil using the grinding machine and proceed to the shaker to separate gold from sand,” said Matt.

This is when he introduced the shaker machine, which helps to separate gold from rocks and sand.

Instead of using mercury, which is highly toxic to human beings, the shaker machine will help the artisan miners avoid damages caused by mercury.  Safety and health of miners was his major concern.

Matt said it’s challenging to work with the miners since most of the equipment is not locally purchased. Besides helping miners, Matt is engaged in charity work. He is sponsoring a number of students to pursue education.

He regretted that the miners get very little support from the government in terms of training and safety gears. He challenged the requisite government ministry and agencies to devolve the mining industry to the county level and have a budget for small scale miners.

Mirium Ngige says she started gold mining while 18 years old and now at 70 years, she is still engaged in the trade. Though its tedious exercise, she reckons it’s the only option available to feed and educate her children.

“With the help of Matt, we can be able to locate gold deep in the rocks using the machines unlike when we used to dig anywhere hoping to find gold,” said Ms Ngige.

Things are easy now for the miners. They don’t use more energy in digging, grinding the rocks and washing the sand to extract gold.

 

Facebook comments