Officers from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) are examining gold mining locations in Kakamega County, ensuring that artisanal miners are following the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) of 1999.

Mr. Isaiah Nakoru, Western Regional Commissioner, expressed worry that illicit mining was still widespread in the area despite the hazards it presented to human life and the environment.

According to Nakoru, the government plans to register all gold mining locations in the Ikolomani, Shinyalu, and Khwisero subcounties so that miners can be licensed and follow NEMA regulations.

The Regional Commissioner said that more than 8,000 miners were working illegally, a scenario that he claimed had resulted in deaths owing to the crude methods used in mining.According to NEMA Director Mr. Charles Mulila, the team is assessing challenges facing mining with a view to streamlining the operations of the sector.

Artisanal gold miners also expose themselves to grave health risks since they do not use safety gears such as ear plugs, safety glasses, masks, gloves and gumboots when extracting gold.

According to the ministry of petroleum and Mining-Kakamega county has at least 1.31 million ounces of gold deposits along the liranda corridor which is valued at Sh.171.billion.

The corridor stretches from Shinyalu to Ikolomani, with part of it being in neighboring Vihiga County.

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