Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Local governments in Karamoja districts are losing revenue accruing from the transportation of mineral transportation as miners withdraw from the fields citing the insecurity in the region. Karamoja region has experienced unrest for the past few months following the escalation of ambushes and raids by suspected warriors.
Mohamed Ali, the director of African leg investment dealing in excavating limestone in Moroto, says that he decided to withdraw his workers from the Kosiroi mining site due to persisting attacks by rusttlers. “We are not safe in Karamoja, I will resume work when the situation normalizes,” he said.
Patrick Musingusi from Harms investment, which deals in Gold mining in Lopedo in Kaabong district, says that he decided to suspend his activities when armed rustlers took over the structure he had constructed for his workers. “I have closed my site because the lives of my workers are not safe the situation is not good,” he said.
Arnold Ananura from Samit group limited, which deals in marble stones in Moroto said he has abandoned his site because the situation is unbearable. “I have abandoned my site and my workers are in Moroto town because the same area we work is the same place where three geologists were killed by armed warriors in March,” he said.
Charles Karoli of Leadway Uganda limited which deals in marble mining in the Rupa sub-county, says that their plan to construct a stone crushing plant for marble stones has stalled. “We were in the process of constructing a crushing plant for marble but honestly the situation has failed us. We are stuck with the equipment,” he said.
Karoli appeals to the government to ensure that the current insecurity in the region is brought to the end to allow investments to take place. Jino Meri, the Kaabong district LC V chairperson, says that most of the sub-counties that have been relying on revenue collected through mineral transportation are down.
Mohamed Ismail, the mayor of Moroto Municipality, says that they have registered an influx of street beggars most of them have been flushed from the mining sites in Rupa sub-county. “Am worried of burglary hitting the Municipality because we are receiving people including children who have been surviving from mining they are now all begging in the Municipality streets which dangerous,” he said.
Joseph Lokut, a resident of Rupa sub-county in Moroto district, says that the rusttlers have now turned to looting and killing people because there are no more animals to raid. Betty Nakiru, one of the gold miners who has turned to begging in the streets of Moroto town, says that she used to support her children through mining but the insecurity has made their lives difficult.
Simon Nagiro, the chairman of Karamoja small scale mining has warned that if criminality continues unabated, the region will continue losing a lot in the mining sector. Micheal Longole, the Karamoja Regional police spokesperson, says that joint security forces are working hard to make sure that investors are protected.