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Boost for soapstone business as County vows to support Mining Bill

Dennis Chacha
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Kisii County Governor James Ongwae with Fred Matiang'i. [Source/Dennis Chacha.]

Kisii County governor James Ongwae has confirmed that his government is committed to supporting the soapstone business. 

The County boss assured county residents that the county assembly will sponsor a Bill to protect soapstone miners and carvers. 

According to the ODM allied governor, the Bill is meant to protect those engaging in soapstone businesses from exploitation. 

"The Bill will standardize prices of soapstone products because Kisii region is widely known for the soapstone activities," he said. 

The governor said despite the carvings selling for millions of shillings at the international markets, locals have not benefited fully due to exploitation from brokers. 

"No outsider will succeed in buying carvings from locals at throwaway prices and in return sell expensively to make huge profits in the international markets," he stated.

Ongwae called on locals to ensure they are selling the carvings at reasonable prices to earn good 'money' and not peanuts. 

"The lives of our people doing the carvings must improve and this can only be achieved once the carvings are sold at reasonable prices," he added. 

He reiterated that locals won't continue languishing in poverty yet there are resources which will earn them a living.

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