A group of gold miners in Chepkararat village Karita Sub County in Amudat district have called upon the government and the financial institutes to train them on how to save the money that they get out of mining gold.
The miners said lack of knowledge in saving has resulted in several of them failing to get any tangible benefits out of the money that they get from gold mining.
Jane Cherop, one of the gold miners in Chepkararat said that none of the miners in the area has any knowledge on how to go about saving.
“Sometimes we earn Shs70, 000 to 100,000 per day from gold mining, but it all gets finished within hours,” she said.
Robert Matovu, another miner, said he had suggested the idea of forming a savings group to his colleagues, but they turned it down, requesting to be trained first.
“We get a lot of money, but at the end of the year nothing changes with regard to the the miner’s status. I believe if we could be trained on how to form and manage saving groups, our situation would change for the better,” he said.
Patricia Angolere, also a miner, noted that most of the miners in Chepkararat have no schooling whatsoever, and so they do not know the requirements to form a saving group.
Deborah Ariong, the Amudat Natural Resource Officer, said that government has not done much to support communities that depend on mining activities, especially in the wake of the COVID-19-related lockdown.
However, Waisaw Masokonyi, the Chief Administrative Officer Amudat, reveals that the district had made arrangements to visit miners around the district and sensitise them about saving, but the plans were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is true that our miners still lack knowledge on savings but we had prepared to go with the District Commercial Officer and train them before COVID-19 disorganised the whole business,” he said.
He noted that the lives of miners in Amudat were in a sorry state and proposed having them registered into cooperatives as one way to improve their lot.
Meanwhile, Francis Kiyonga, the district LCV Chairperson Amudat, acknowledges that most miners are not members of savings groups.
“As a district, we are organising to carry out trainings for miners on various projects, including the presidential financial initiative known as Emyooga so that they can benefit from them.”
Chekararat gold mining, located in Amudat district in north eastern Uganda, has about 50 miners, majority of them immigrants from Mubende, Busia, Kampala, Mbarara, and Buikwe districts.