Sustainable Governance For Artisanal Sand Mining - Case Of Kangonde Location, Masinga District
Artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) contribute significantly to the creation of mineral wealth. The activity is very significant, in job creation and poverty alleviation in the rural areas, though this come with a number of social and environmental consequences. In most Nations where this practice is prevalent, the industry is considered as informal and hence is not mainstreamed as a major National economic activity. The operations of ASM are therefore wrought with social, environmental, legislative and structural challenges, which this research project has tended to identify, measure and recommend a governance structure which strives to reduce the negative impacts of this rather silent but important sector in Kenya’s economy. The study set out (i) to examine the existing regulatory, institutional and policy framework systems in place that governs sand harvesting in Kenya; (ii) to establish the impact of the existing governance structures in the study area, (iii) to determine the performance indicators that explicate the performance levels of the existing regulatory, institutional and policy frameworks that govern sand harvesting in the study area; (iv) To suggest a sustainable regulatory, institutional and policy framework that improves sand harvesting activities in the study area. Two major dimensions on artisanal sand harvesting were considered, namely governance and sustainability; and this was conceptualized around sand harvesting regulators/and actors, and sand harvesting performance indicators (including socio-demographic profiles, economic profiles, physical and environmental profiles). This was correlated to the sand harvesting activity and was ultimately used to analyze the benefits/non benefits of sand harvesting, hence the weaknesses/strengths of governance structures and the level of sustainability of the resource. These results informed recommendations outlined in this study. Primary data collection sources/units were households, institutions and individuals, where information was derived through direct interviews, discussions, recording, structured questionnaires, and checklists. Photography and field observations provided information on the environmental status and the physical characteristics of the study area, including the sand mining sites. Respondents were household representative (above 18 years of age) and key informants. Secondary data sources were basically done through desk reviews from existing literature on sand harvesting, scholarly internet sources, existing legislative, institutional and policy frameworks, after which contextual analysis and synthesis of findings was done particularly to furnish study with information for objective one and four. Results indicate that artisanal sand mining requires multi-sectoral governance approach structure. The study proposes a central body of governance for artisanal sand mining against the existing disjointed regulatory structures. This should constitute four tiers each with different mandates. The social arm of governance shall deal with issues of social sustainability, the economic arm will deal with issues of economic sustainability, and so will be the environmental arm. A special arm should be set up to oversee activities of the other three arms and deal with overall formulation of rules and regulations governing sand mining.