Kenya: The Maasai Council of Elders (MCE) has assured cement manufacturing companies in Athi River of their willingness to allow them get raw materials from Kajiado county, following disputes over land. MCE spokesman, William Kirrinkai, gave the assurance after a meeting of stakeholders and representatives of the five cement manufacturers at Nkurrunka area in Kitengela.
Kirrinkai is also the treasurer of the recently-formed special council mediator group to negotiate the re-opening of all the mines that had been closed over alleged misunderstandings between the locals and the companies. He was quick to point out that earlier demands made by the MCE still stand.
The elders had given an ultimatum to the companies to look again at their social corporate responsibilities and consider some of the requirements of the Maasai community. Some of the demands were the implementation of employment quota for Maasai young graduates, two directorial positions in all of the companies, building of health centres in all the mining areas, building of tarmac roads in areas leading to the mines and helping members of the community pay school fees for their children.
During a meeting on the matter at Kitengela on 27 February 2012, the East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) and Athi River Mining Cement (ARMC) representatives requested to be given time to consider the demands. Kirrinkai, who attended the meeting, agreed with the then EAPCC chairman, Mark Karbolo, and ARMC's representative Peter Danga to meet again on 10 March 2012 to review the matter.
Kirrinkai separately addressed more than 2000 members of the local Maasais and other communities in Kajiado County, saying that local and non-locals living in the region have a right to all the available resources.