Wednesday, September 13, 2023 – Residents of Migori County are up in arms against the government of President William Ruto over its decision to ‘grab’ the gold mine in the area.

Ruto, through the Ministry of Environment, has taken 6,165 acres of the Macalder area and turned it into a public forest; something that has not gone down well with locals.

The area has for decades been used by local artisanal miners and small mining companies to extract gold, making it a major source of income in the region. 

In a special Gazette notice, the government gazetted the region as a forest area under the provision of the Forest Conservation and Management Act.

During the gazettement process, residents of Migori County were not advised on the future of their mines that are underground in the Macalder area, part Migori Gold Belt.

The Macalder Forest is home to one of the largest gold deposits in the country as the Migori Gold Belt transverses the vast land.

The Migori Gold Belt is situated 16 kilometres away from the Kenya/Tanzania border in Srare and runs parallel with the border making the gold deposits majorly in Kenyan soil.

While thousands of Migori residents depend on small-scale gold mining from Macalder Forest for survival, there are also companies that mine on a large scale.

The gold is sold to brokers in Migori Town who then sell it abroad mostly in Asia and the Middle East. 

Residents from Migori County reveal that on average, a day working in the gold mines fetches Ksh3,000.

The community is now worried that should the forest be fenced off by the government, they would lose their main source of livelihood.


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