Mining Firm Denies Claims of Non-compliance in Health and Safety
Karebe Mining Director Jeremy Froome clarified that the company has meet all requisite international standards and health safety measures put in place.
Karebe mining company has defended itself against media reports that the company has not met the global operating standards and other Health Safety Guidelines required operating.
In a statement, Karebe Mining Company Director Jeremy Froome clarified that the company has meet all requisite international standards and health safety measures put in place for the workers exemplary and has not recorded any single serious accidents or injuries in the 9 year mine life operating in Kenya.
Froome further said that his company which mines gold in Nandi hills in the Kenya Rift valley has also implemented all the labour laws as stipulated by Central Organization of Trade Unions COTU and that the workers are compensated at rates higher than any other employer in the area.
He further dispelled reports that there are cases of claims regarding loss of hearing due to dust or noise from the workers or local residents.
Froome instead stated that Karebe mining company has benefited the locals among other social development activities including providing annual school bursaries for 100 of the most disadvantaged children within the local community.
The statement comes only a few days after Nandi county senator Kiprotich Cherargei told the stated at the floor of the house that the company was exposing the workers at risky health hazards and was of more harm to the people around than benefit to the locals.
The outspoken Senator expressed concerns following a fact finding mission concerning the plight of workers and residents living around the mining site and indicated that he was perturbed on how the company's operations in the area impede on the rights of the locals.
"The company is perpetuating human rights abuse especially against the employees and even against the community and we are telling the government to investigate the matter and take action even if it means revoking the work permit of the mining company" said Hon.Cherargei
Senator Cherargei also reiterated that natural resources must benefit local communities in order to ensure social economic development of county, equity, fairness and justice.
Among the issues raised by the aggrieved parties are exploitation of the community by mining company, irregular and unlawful acquisition of community land, threats of forced evictions and demolition of houses, widespread labour malpractices and environmental concerns.
The UK based company is accused of routinely flouting labour laws and regulations desired to protect workers safety.
"Workers are consistently subjected harsh working conditions, long working hours with poor health and safety standards including inadequate ventilation that can lead to serious lung diseases." Said Ruth Chesang a resident of Chemase.
Worker's in the mining firm also reportedly complained that they are forced use containers as toilets since they are not allowed to have toilet breaks.
Karebe Gold Mining Limited started its operations in Chemase in 2009 and it is now the largest gold producer in Kenya with three separate mines in Western Kenya.