Six artisanal miners died in gold mining pits last month in Busia and Namayingo districts, according to the Mineral protection police. Two cases were registered in Tiira village, Tiira town council of Busia district.
The miners were buried alive in a gold pit that was over 100 feet deep. The duo is said to have suffocated to death due to lack of oxygen.
William James Wandera, a resident of Banda Sub-county, says that the deceased’s set fire to burn stones in the gold pit and died due to loss of oxygen.
He says the artisanal miners often burn stone to break the stones for murrum ore.
Wandera says that they learnt about the death of their colleagues after 3 days. Four similar cases were reported in Bukaana and Banda sub-counties in Namayingo districts.
Levis Mugweisajje, the operation commander-OC Police Minerals protection unit in charge of Busia and Namayingo districts attributes the death to illegal gold mining practices.
He says most of the miners sneak into gold mines where they meet their death.
Mugwisajje says that they have intensified routine community sensitisation on proper gold mining practices and advised non-licensed miners to register and legalize their business.
Ben Okamar, the Busitema Sub-county LC 3 chairperson in Busia district says that the death of the miners has triggered fear among their colleagues.
He says that they have resolved to conduct operations targeting school-going children who opt to go for gold prospecting.
Okamar says that the situation worsens especially in this rainy season where the top ground gets socked and becomes weak.