Police in Rwamagana District have urged all people involved in mining business to prioritize their health and to take precaution against any likely disasters.
The District Police Commander of Rwamagana, Supt. James Rutaremara made the call on Tuesday in Mwurire Sector while addressing about 400 artisan miners.
The DPC emphasised on “safety excellence” to guarantee their security in concessions. Safety excellence involves strategies, assessment and training
“I urge all site engineers at mining concessions to pay more attention to safety on your respective sites. We shouldn’t have any avoidable disasters emanating from negligence. You should draw lessons from past incidents to prevent such from happening again,” Supt. Rutaremara said.
In April this year, four miners were trapped underground following an accident that led to blockage of a mining shaft at a cassiterite concession also in Mwulire. They were rescued alive on the third day of the operation.
There are also incidents where miners have died after tampering with weak cliffs causing landslide.
“Your safety and healthy should come first. Be observant enough to advise your supervisors and managers on dangers; you have the right to leave the work whenever you think it puts your life at risk, and report to authorities. You will have not only saved your life but even those of others,” the DPC said.
He noted that the rainy season is normally dangerous for miners since it makes soils weak and likely to cause landslides.
“Most incidents are caused by heavy rainfall that weakens the pillars of concessions. This could be avoided if prior risk assessment and measures are taken and mining activities supervised to ensure standards,” Supt. Rutaremara said.
Their activities, the DPC said, should include protecting the environment.
He also warned against illegal mining activities where some people sneak into concessions especially at night to steal minerals, which he said is another cause of disasters and loss of lives.
Owners of mineral concessions were also reminded to ensure that security at mining sites is maintained and mineral stores are secured from any theft.