Falling rock kills sand harvester in Homa Bay
What you need to know:
- Sand mining is a lucrative business in parts of Homa Bay and many families depend on it for a livelihood.
- But it also poses challenges, especially to the miners who risk their lives to extract the earth for construction.
A 26-year-old man was killed on Wednesday night at a mining site in Rachuonyo East after a rock fell on him while he was digging sand from a cave.
John Ouma Nyandiko died on the spot after a boulder fell on him.
Sand mining is a lucrative business in parts of Homa Bay and many families depend on it for a livelihood. But it also poses challenges, especially to the miners who risk their lives to extract the earth for construction.
It has led to serious injuries and deaths. Nyandiko died in Karateng village, Ramba location.
Witnesses said Nyandiko had gone with his colleagues to harvest sand.
While the other miners were digging sand in an open area, Nyandiko decided to go into a six-foot cave with a loose rock hanging from the ceiling.
The rock is said to have come free after its foundation became weak.
Ramba chief Joseph Ndege said the man was hit on the head.
"He sustained serious injuries after the rock fell on him, killing him instantly. The ground became weak due to heavy rains that hit the area," he said.
Mr Ndege said police from Othoro police station took the body to Okita mortuary.
The administrator urged residents to avoid harvesting sand in deep holes during the heavy rains to prevent landslides. He said the run-off after heavy rains weakens the soil.
"Residents should avoid digging deep caves when harvesting sand because they can easily collapse," Mr Ndege said.
The National Environment Management Authority has expressed concern about illegal sand mining in Homa Bay.
The authority is currently mapping all sand mining sites to regulate the activity.
County Nema director Josiah Nyandoro said sites found operating illegally would be shut down.