Mining state department says under-funding hindering operations

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Nairobi, KENYA: The state Department of Mining is on its knees in executing its core functions after it emerged that it has been underfunded in the 2017/2018 budgetary allocations.

Speaking before the parliamentary house committee on Environment headed by Kareke Mbiuki on Monday, Mining Principal Secretary John Menge said the state department is grounded due to the fact that most of its directorates projects have been underfunded.

Menge said that the budget shortfall affected recurrent and development projects that have not been funded effectively which entails office space, whereby offices of the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum directorates are located in different buildings within the city thus hampering coordination of day to day activities.

It emerged that the sh.100 million were not provided to acquire new offices has prior planned.

Menge reiterated that new equipment for exploration and detection of geohazards which required one billion shillings for the state department to execute was allocated only sh. 300 million and reduced further to  sh.126 million in the supplementary one.

“You can see from the requirement of one billion, we have only been able to support this Directorate with sh.126 million, this is affecting very negatively our field programs including programs that will support some of the counties integrated programs,” Menge said.

He indicated that the staffing is adversely affected as it stands at 46 percent.

On surveillance of mines and quarry sites to enhance safety practices in the sector, the department was allocated sh. 200 million but no money was wired to the department.

The committee faulted the treasury by failing to release funds to the mining after it emerged that the ministry was allocated only sh. 200 million for development.

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