Chapter 3.9 (SST I)

Major Minerals found in Kenya

Minerals are valuable substances found on earth. Mining is the removal of minerals from where it is found in the ground. Observe the picture of the mining activity below. What can you see in the picture?

Read the following story.

John is a pupil at Muka Primary School. His father works in a cement factory. One Saturday, John accompanied his father to work. The place was noisy and dusty. He wondered at the many lorries turning around carrying heaps of soil. He learnt that cement is made from a mineral called limestone. Limestone is used in the building and construction industry.

 His father told him that the lorries were transporting raw materials and cement bags for sale. “Is limestone the only mineral mined in Kenya?” John asked. His father added that the other major minerals found in Kenya were soda ash, which is used to manufacture glass and soap; diatomite which is used to make filters and insulators. Others were salt and petroleum

Activity 1: Work in pairs

  1. From the story, list the major minerals found in Kenya.
  2. Using the internet, textbooks and atlas maps, find out the other minerals found in Kenya.

Distribution of Minerals in Kenya

Activity 2: Group work

The map below shows distribution of major minerals found in Kenya.

  1. Identify the minerals mined in places marked P, Q, R, S, T and U.
  2. Identify the towns marked J and G.
  3. Identify the lake marked H.
  4. Fill in the table that follows by indicating the mineral and the places they are found:



Key points

  • The major minerals mined in Kenya are soda ash, limestone, salt, diatomite and petroleum.
  • Soda ash is mined at Lake Magadi.
  • Limestone is mined at Bamburi in Mombasa.
  • Salt is mined at Ngomeni in Malindi.
  • Diatomite is mined at Kariandusi near Gilgil in Nakuru.
  • Petroleum is mined in Lokichar in Turkana.
  • Gold is mined in Kakamega and Migori.

Activity 3: Take home

Work with your parent or guardian

Find out from your parent or guardian the minerals found in your locality.

Activity 4: Work on your own

  1. Using the internet or textbooks, draw a map of Kenya and show where the major minerals are found.
  2. Display the map you have drawn in the Social Studies corner.

Activity 5: Work on your own

Digital zone

  1. Using the internet, identify the minerals found in Kenya.
  2. Watch the video clip below about tourist attractions in Kenya.

Importance of Minerals in Our Country

Minerals are important to our country. They help us in many ways.

Activity 6: Work as a class

Read the conversation between Madam Joy, a mining officer, invited to talk to Grade Five learners about importance of minerals.

Madam Joy:


Madam Joy:


Madam Joy:


Madam Joy:


Madam Joy:


Today, we will talk about importance of minerals to our country.

How are minerals important to Kenya?

Mining has created many employment opportunities. Mining companies have built schools and health centres to benefit the workers and the neighbouring communities.

Are there any other ways in which mining is important?

Mining has led to growth of urban centres near mining sites. It has also led to improved means of transport to the mining areas.

How is that important?

Good transport network helps to open up and connect mining areas to the rest of the country.

Is there any other benefit of mining?

Exports of some minerals also earns the country foreign exchange. Further, the presence of minerals has led to the establishment of various industries that use the minerals as raw materials.

Thank you very muchMadam.

  1. Discuss importance of mining as mentioned in the story.
  2. Discuss other importance of minerals in Kenya.
  3. Make a summary for class presentation.
  4. Write an essay on the importance of mining.

Problems Facing Mining in Kenya

What are the problems facing mining in Kenya? Read the messages in the posters and do the activity that follows.


Key points

Some of the problems facing mining in Kenya include:

  • Lack of capital.
  • Poor infrastructure.
  • Small size of mineral deposits.
  • Health and safety concerns.

Activity 7: Work in pairs

  1. Discuss the problems facing mining in Kenya shown in posters (a) and (b)
  2. Discuss other problems that face mining in Kenya and write them down.
  3. Present your findings in class.

Activity 8: Work as a class

Field work: A visit to a mining site

You may need a camera, smart phone or a tablet.

  1. Visit a mining site in your locality.
  2. Find out the importance of mining to the local area.
  3. Take photos of the site.
  4. Draw sketches of the site
  5. Write a report of your findings from the field visit and present it in class.

During visits, ensure safety from open holes, huge rocks and other hazards. Always walk in groups and wear protective gear as instructed by the guides.

Importance of Mining in Kenya

Study the posters that follow and read the messages.


Minerals found in our country earn us income, create employment, lead to growth of industries and improvement of roads. Mining causes pollution and leads to destruction of plants and animal life. Mining should be done in a careful way in order to protect the environment.

New words garden

  1. Using a dictionary, find out the meaning of the following new words:
    1. mineral
    2. mining
    3. petroleum
    4. extract
    5. hazard
  2. Make a sentence using each of the new words in (1)

Activity 9: Group work

My community

  1. Create posters on the importance of mining in Kenya.
  2. Use the poster to create awareness on the importance of minerals to our country

Assessment Exercise 18

1. What is mining?

2. What is a mineral?

3. Re-arrange the following words to come up with the correct major minerals found in Kenya

  1. eleuortpm
  2. dmeatioit
  3. shaodsa
  4. tasl
  5. otesnmeli

4. Complete the table below


Where mined


Soda ash



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