Three miners die as Isiolo goldmine collapses

Geoffrey Omoding

Isiolo County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding addresses journalists at his office. 

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu I Nation Media Group

Three miners died after the Kom Durte gold mine in Isiolo North constituency collapsed on them while prospecting the mineral.

County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding said one of the bodies was retrieved Wednesday morning and the two others in the afternoon.

“Rescue operations have been completed after bodies of two men who were trapped in the rubble for over 12 hours retrieved,” Mr Omoding told the Nation, revealing that one miner escaped unhurt after the midnight incident.

This came as questions emerged why the activities, that have created jobs for thousands of young people, remained unregulated with miners working until late in the night which put their lives at risk.

The administrator said some National Environment Management Authority officers had been deployed to the area to assess the safety of the mine and provided informed advice on whether it should be closed down or not.

Condoling with the bereaved families, local leader Osman Shariff asked the county government to regulate the venture to prevent loss of lives.

“While the young men work until late in the night to earn a living, they should be mindful of their safety,” Mr Shariff said.

The mine along Isiolo/Samburu border had at one point early last year been shut after the government declared the area disturbed paving way for an operation due to spate of attacks that were being perpetrated by bandits from the neighbouring Samburu County.

Former Interior CS Fred Matiang’i then stated that there was a connection between proliferation of illegal firearms in Marsabit with the mining activities in Isiolo whose proceeds, he said, were funding conflicts in the neighbouring county.

The former Isiolo County Assembly in May last year passed a motion requiring the county government to train miners across the county on safety precautions among other areas meant to enhance their ability.