Gold miners in Namayingo District have dropped out of business and opted to do farming following a shortage in deposits of the precious mineral due to rudimentary methods of mining.
Jafferi Isabirye, a former gold miner in Bukana sub-county, Namayingo District opted to quit the business to take up farming after discovering that the precious mineral deposits had drastically reduced.
Isabirye said he previously used to get 5 points of gold in a day worth Shs50,000 but currently leaves for home empty-handed.
“I realized I was wasting my time continuing with a business that’s not worth,” he said.
Isabirye is among hundreds of other gold miners who have quit the business in order to do farming in the district.
Previously gold mines of Nakudi located in Banda sub-county, Budde in Buyinja sub-county which used to buzz with businesses like bars and lodges, are now deserted due to shortage of gold deposits in the area.
The LC 3chairman Banda sub-county, Benya Wafula said the reduction of gold deposits in the Nakudi mines is likely to lead to a spike in cases of crime in the area.
Wafula said the majority of youths were previously engaged in the gold mining business but have opted to drop out and resorted to idling around or playing cards in trading centers.
“These people are likely to turn dangerous during night hours because they have been used to handling huge sums of money,” he said.
The LC 5 chairman Namayingo, Ronald Sanya urged gold miners to acquire modern machines for extracting gold from the mines instead of using rudimentary methods.
Sanya said despite the presence of gold deposits in the area the district has never benefited from it simply because most of the miners are not organized besides lack licenses to operate.
“These miners are doing the business for survival purposes because they don’t have the license to mine on a wide scale,” he said.
He said some mining companies have deliberately refused to pay taxes to the district claiming they are still carrying out exploration for the past ten years.
“I don’t know how long exploration of the gold mines takes,” he said.
The LC one chairman Buchuna village, Bukana sub-county Bonny Odong, urged the government to provide an excavator to break down to make it easy for the miners.
“We have been telling them to help pass over the message to the relevant authorities support the mining sector but have simply turned a deaf ear,” he said.
The woman member of parliament elect Namayingo, Margret Makokha has promised to forward the matter to relevant government officials for necessary action about the declining gold deposits in the area in case she takes over office.