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Karamoja miners demand mineral weighbridges

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Saudi Arabia investors mine marble stones at Rwata mining site in Rupa Sub-county in Moroto. photo by Dan Steven Ariong 

By Steven Ariong

Posted  Saturday, April 5   2014 at  17:15
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Moroto.
Karimojong miners in Moroto and Nakapiripirit districts have appealed to the government to establish mineral weighbridges in Karamoja.
The miners made the appeal during a mineral monitoring training workshop supported by Earth Savers in Moroto District recently.

They said lack of weighbridges is preventing Karamoja from benefiting from minerals that investors take out of their region. They say the miners are paid per truck without knowing the actual tonnes because the load is not weighed.

Mr John Lokut, a marble miner in Kosiroi mining site in Tapac Sub-county, Moroto District, said hundreds of tonnes of lime stone and marble are transported to Tororo and other industries outside Karamoja daily without being weighed due to lack of weighbridge.

“We don’t know how many tonnes of minerals these investors are supposed to carry because there is no weighbridge that can help us to determine the amount,” he said.

Mr Simon Nangiro, the chairman of Karamoja Small Scale Mining Association, said establishing mineral weighbridge in Karamoja would stop investors from cheating the local community, the district administration and government of revenue. “Right now we are all cheated because we don’t know how many tonnes of minerals go out of Karamoja,”he said.

Mr Zackary Baguma, the assistant commissioner in charge of Geology and Minerals in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, supported the community appeal and said Karamoja deserves a weighbridge.

He advised district local governments to pass a by-law and submit to the ministry of Works and Transport, which has the mandate to set up a weighbridge.