Two buried alive by sand mine

At least two people have been buried alive within one week in sand mines in Nyeihanga, 30km on Mbarara-Kabale highway. Over 200 people work in the sand mines.

Last week a miner, John Bashaija, was buried alive when the part of the mine’s walls collapsed and fell on him. On Tuesday, another miner Gordon Kansiime, 20, also died under similar circumstances.

Two of his colleagues survived narrowly, according to the southwestern police spokesperson, Ms Polly Namaye. Residents told Daily Monitor that several miners have died at the mines in the last 10 years after being buried by the sand mine walls.

“Over 20 people might have died in these mines for the last 10 years after being buried by the sand mine walls. The situation is made worse especially during the rainy season when the soils are boggy,” said Mr Enock Kasingye, who added that he has been mining sand at Nyeihanga for the last 20 years.

Another miner, Mr Alex Mugizi, said they lack adequate tools to carry out safe mining. “We just use hoes to mine this sand and the good sand is deep inside. So.

It becomes risky especially during rainy season when soils are very soft and you can be trapped inside,” said Mr Mugizi.
He appealed to the government to provide them better mining equipment.

Educating miners
The Mbarara officer in-charge of criminal investigations department, Mr Allan Twishimye, said the police were called in after Bashaija was trapped but they failed to rescue him.

“We are sensitising the miners to see they employ mining methods that are not very risky,” Twisimye added.


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