Rwanda National Police (RNP) has called upon owners and managers of mining concessions to take safety precaution of their sites to prevent likely disasters that may arise. The call follows recent separate incidents in mining concessions where some people have survived with injuries but others lost lives while mining in risky areas.
On August 6, one person died in Muhanga District when an unsupported cliff at a mining site in Ruhango Cell of Rongi Sector curved in killing him instantly.
It is alleged that one Emmanuel Tugirabantu, the deceased, had illegally sneaked into the mining concession at night when he got covered by landslides.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Jean Bosco Karega, the District Police Commander of Muhanga reminded owners of mining sites that the “security of their concessions should be their priority.”
“Owners of these sites are expected to follow all the necessities as per the licence and this includes roads, safety of their employees and that of the site, and covering all the trenches they no longer use,” the DPC said.
“Most of the victims are those hiding under darkness to go and mine illegally; there’s need for these mining companies to ensure security of these sites to prevent such from happening,” he added warning the general public against the illegal act, which he said is punishable by the law.
Article 438 of the Rwandan penal code states that “any person who undertakes illegal research or illegally carries out commercial activities in valuable minerals, shall be liable to imprisonment of six months to one year and a fine of Rwf3 million to Rwf10 million or one of these penalties.”
He further urged people residing next to these concessions to report anyone they see in this illegal business.
Aimable Ndayisaba, the executive secretary of Rongi echoed the same message adding that every person working in these concessions should be ensured and should wear protection gears.
Ndayisaba called upon owners of sites to always check the status of their sites before sending in their employees to prevent disasters caused by weak and cliff.