Taita Taveta County government has deployed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to support decision making in the mining industry.
The county executive in charge of infrastructure, Gertrude Shuwe said the Department of Lands, Mining and Housing, has employed GIS in mapping minerals and in providing critical information to investors and other stakeholders in the sector.
“This can be used to attract potential investors by showcasing mineral distribution and variety of minerals found in our county,“ she said.
The county has vast deposits of gemstones, including green garnets, red garnets, tourmaline, Tsavorite and rubi. It is also rich in iron ore deposits and other industrial minerals.
GIS has also been instrumental in determining boundaries thus reducing conflicts between land owners and investors involved in exploration or mining in the county.
The technology is also deployed in monitoring environmental changes in mining zones.
The mining department has also embarked on developing geo database for the county.
“We have already collected raw data and we shall soon consolidate it,” Ms Shuwe added.
Ms Shuwe said planners are able to tap technology to institute effective measures for sustainable exploitation of resources and environmental conservation.
Taita Taveta University Vice- Chancellor Christine Onyango said GIS will improve the capacity, quality and access of geoinformatics teaching and research in the county.
Prof Onyango added that the technology will boost development and management of natural resources.
“As an institution, we also want to produce a critical mass of postgraduates to fill the human resource deficit in applied geoinformatics, not only in Kenya but across the broader Eastern African region,” said the don.