Decline of Gold at Lochor-Emoit village



When gold was discovered in the area in 1991, it led to a population explosion as more people moved in to settle and acquire land. Meanwhile, the local communities got paid peanuts

Lochor-emoit, known also as Logolit, is a small village in Turkana County, but a famous one. That’s because in 1991, gold was discovered in the area, leading to a little population explosion as more people moved in to settle and acquire land. The dream by local to gain wealth from the discovery is, however, yet to be realised, more than two decades later. Foreigner’s, especially Tanzanians, invaded the village with advanced methods and machines for mining and became the main miners. Mr Joseph Epungure says that in 1993, Tanzanian miners extracted a lot of gold and carried it back home without taxation. Meanwhile, the local communities, who ended up being employees of the foreign miners, got peanuts as payment and have never risen out of poverty. For instance, Mr Joseph Losikiria, one of the gold miners, says that from 1991 to date, he has been mining but has nothing to show for it. Moreover, the gold reserves appear to have been depleted. “We got a lot of money, but today, we are like beggars because all the money is gone. We have turned to charcoal burning, and the trees will be over soon if not replaced,” says Losikiria. Losikiria and his peers are now appealing to the county government to help them get an alternative source of income to help them fight the growing poverty in the village. Children look for gold after attending school. The rule at Lochor-emoit is that children must attend school first and only go to mining places after school or weekends.

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