EU Tours Loolung Gold Mining Area In Karamoja

EU Tours Loolung Gold Mining Area In Karamoja

For years, no one envisioned a mining boom in Karamoja sub-region, a region that is now popular for its vast mineral resources such as gold, marble, limestone, gypsum, yet grappling with poverty.

Did u know, out of 20,000 artisanal miners of gold, marble, limestone & stone quarrying; 70-80% r women facing key issues like: limited access to mining benefits thru surface rights, low bargaining power & exploitation by middlemen & gender based violence? #EUHoMsRetreatUG2017 pic.twitter.com/leWNfO9Zsj

— Muhereza Kyamutetera (@StKyamutetera) December 6, 2017

The continuous lack of regulations for the artisanal and small scale mining, (ASM), sector considering that it employs more women and children is a big factor. The price of gold continues to be low with continuous exploitation from middlemen.

Gold exports reached $340 million in 2016, according to official figures, up from $237,000 in 2014.

A visit this morning to #Loolung Gold Mining Area in Karamoja kicked off Day 3 of the #EUHoMsRetreatUG2017. Some 800 small scale miners, including women and children are using hand tools to harness precious minerals for rewards not commensurate to their effort. Some, detrimental! pic.twitter.com/mqi33lXHsR

— EU in Uganda (@EUinUG) December 6, 2017

For mining communities to benefit, the government needs to empower communities on their mining rights and entitlements, formalize benefit agreements between host communities and mining companies and fastidiously address the issue of surface right.

Unregulated gold mining has been leading conflicts in the mining sector, smuggling of gold, child labour, human rights abuses, environmental and human health concerns. 

Incredible spirit of adaptation and of resilience by Karimajong and Turkana people working together in an community artisanal underground gold mine near Moroto, Karamoja. pic.twitter.com/esNFx6YqNS

— Attilio Pacifici (@APacificiEU) December 6, 2017

The watchdog Global Witness recently criticised the Ugandan mining industry, describing it as "infested with corruption from bottom to top".

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