Artisanal mining meets my needs by finally sits in law
David Ouma Sewe is a resident from Mikei sub location, Nyatike sub-county in Migori County. He has been mining gold in Matanda for more than 10 years. A father of three and a teacher by profession, he left teaching before his retirement tenure, when he learnt that he would be self employed and make ends meet. With the help of a friend, he went and explored and lucky enough he found that special and precious substance on his garden near the river. From the little savings he had from teaching, he sourced more capital from his family and started digging by hiring people. When he dug about 10 ft, he began having some little signs of minerals and at this point he would get at least 2 gm. He continued to dig further down to 30 ft then horizontal, and at this point the production was good that he would get 30 bags of 50 kg of gold ore per day depending on manpower productivity.
Water became a challenge as he dug deeper which led him to begin using generators to pump water out of the tunnel. He started with small generators but as he dug deeper, he was forced to improve his machinery. He therefore needed to acquire the required machinery that would match the depth of the tunnel and this halted him from mining for around 11 months till now. Luckily, he had made some savings and a few investments in crushers and compressors which he has been surviving on.
Being one of resourceful persons in gold mining, NCCK through the Madini Yetu Wajibu Wetu project, has walked with him from the community public educations forums where he was selected as an ASM champion for Nyatike sub-location. He later participated in the training for mapping artisanal miners, though he says it was a bit cumbersome, where he learnt that many lives depend on mining for education and for survival. He hopes that the information from the mapping process will help the community in realization of prosperity of mining business.
He is grateful to God for bringing NCCK to their community and support them get organized and understand Mining Act 2016. He hopes that this will bring peace, sanity and order in the mining business, help the miners get operate and be recognized within the law and can therefore comfortably approach County Government and other organizations to address their problems, for grants and machinery.