Hundreds of small businesses in makeshift camps have suddenly come to life in Merti Sub-County of Isiolo County following the discovery of iron ore in the area attracting security officers to maintain order.
The ore which is going for between Sh50,000 and Sh100,000 per kilogram has led to the buildup of makeshift camps in the while others are cashing in on the stampede with food, water and other basic needs to feed the growing population.
Hundreds of fortune hunters are perching on the sub-county from Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Nairobi, Baasa and many others areas.
“There is need to assign police officers to cover the area since there is likelihood of insecurity due to the value of the stone,” the Merti Deputy County Commissioner Julius Maiyo was quoted saying by Vivian Jebet of Business Daily.
The discovery highlights Kenya’s vast untapped potential after oil discoveries around the region and host of other resources around the country including coal, titanium and endless list of fortune.
Small businesses and makeshift shops have also sprouted, supplying foodstuff and the scarce water, with more prospectors expected at the site as modern machines and earth movers move in.
Beef up security
The government has had to beef up security in the area following the discovery.
On Tuesday, a team of officers, led by Merti OCPD Gifinalis Barasa, visited the area and found miners converged around the 400m² area.
The news of the precious rock was first reported by a herder who allegedly found it last week and sold it to brokers from Nairobi at Sh5.4 million.