ADDIS ABABA—The Oromia Water, Mines and Energy Bureau is taking stiff measures against what it says greedy investors working to accumulate personal wealth without adding values on the natural resources of the state while compromising the benefits of local communities.
Bureau Head Asefa Kumsa told journalists yesterday that the bureau is exploring ways to utilize natural resources of the state for enhancing community development and job creation.
Over the last year, the Bureau revoked the licenses of 115 miners engaged in illegal mining operations and activities. And extensive efforts are underway to ensure healthy business and investment environment in the mining sector said Asefa adding that “Previously, only few individuals have had control of the mineral resources of the state. But following recent measures taken by the Bureau the youth are able to take part in the mineral development that would change their livelihoods.” he adds
While encouraging pro poor and legal investments, the bureau would continue to find ways where the local communities particularly the youth would benefit from the natural resources, he noted.
Meanwhile, the Head also stated that the bureau is trying its level best to unleash the natural resource potential of the state to promote access to energy for rural communities.
Mentioning the fact that the electricity coverage of the state is at a lower level he said hard work and commitment is still expected both at state and national levels. In so doing, he explained “About 2.5 million people have been provided with non-renewable energy sources over the last six months.”
Poor implementation capacity, financial and technical constraints and others have posed hurdles in utilizing the water resource of the state. However, he further explained that the Bureau is exerting its maximum effort to address issues of water shortages and access to safe drinking water.
Regarding the water shortages he mentioned that some projects are progressing well of which 17 of them have been finalized so far, but others face delay due to power shortage, he added.
The Head said that the bureau is working closely with the federal government to look for sustainable solutions to overcome the bottlenecks.
BY DESTA GEBREHIWOT