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Why Governor Ongwae should be ashamed of carrying soapstone to Israel

Edwin Mokaya
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Curvings from Tabaka soapstone. (Source/Ongeso/Facebook)

Kisii Governor James Ongwae carried the Kisii Soapstone to Israel in his trip, in a quest to get interested people who can invest both money and ideas especially in bringing value addition to the soapstone curving industry in Kisii County. 

He, however, should be ashamed of not helping the artisans from the area when he had the power to.

Also, read: 

ODM Governor takes Soapstone to Israel

In his two terms, many people have been crying to the governor asking him to try and change the Tabaka curving business into an industry, which can be a source of employment promote the area, but all has been in vain.

Instead, Ongwae is planning to clear Nyangweta forest which is the only remaining forest in the region, for the establishment of a sugar factory. When other communities want to run away from this sugar factories,  the Kisii County Government is pushing for the same and forgetting about the unique soft stone resource in Tabaka hills.

The soapstone carvings undergo various processes which need machines yet the work is done by crude tools as at now. 

Mining itself is done by digging a large pit using hands by use of picks and shovels. Before soliciting for the foreign aid, Governor Ongwae would have helped the miners with machinery to use in the extraction of the stone.

The curving of the soapstones is done using a hand and a variety of tools such as machetes and knives. This becomes tiresome leading to low productivity. In his two terms in his office, Ongwae is supposed to have done something to change the situation.

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-Edwin Mokaya

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