By Kiganda Ssonko
THE Government is to set up seven regional geological and mining centres in various parts of the country. The move is aimed at improving data access by investors in the sector, Joshua Tuhumwire, the commissioner for Entebbe Geological Surveys and Mines, said.
Tuhumwire said a consultant and contractor for venture were being sought. â€œWe have earmarked $1.2m (about sh2.1b) for the centresâ€™ infrastructure in the chosen districts.
â€œAnother $1m (about sh1.75) will equip the centres with basic scientific laboratory facilities. â€œThe Government will keep modernising the facilities as the mineral sector continues to generate more benefits,â€ he said.
He explained that the centres would have a mineral dressing and graphical laboratories to cut and analyse minerals.
They would also have an industrial mineral laboratory to analyse construction rocks. They would also process licenses before they are approved by the Entebbe centre.
The commissioner was speaking during a sensitisation workshop for leaders of 19 districts in north and north-western region at Lira Hotel. He said the Government is also expanding the system for detecting earthquakes to 11 centres from four centres.
This is aimed at increasing awareness about the disaster. Tuhumwire said the developments are part of the five-year $42m sustainable management of mineral resources programme.
The programme is funded by African Development Bank, Nordic Development Fund and the World Bank. Kamanda Bantaringaya, the mineral development minister, said the Government was determined to modernise the under-exploited sector.
â€œWe want data to guide investors,â€ he told the workshop.