Gold diggers in Kuria West Sub County defy a Government ban on the activity

For the last four days, Chacha Mogosi has been frequenting and working inside his usual gold pit near Kehancha town.

Mogosi worries less about the danger that always stalks him while in his daily errands inside these gold pits.

Like his colleagues engaged in the game of prospecting for this precious mineral in this area, what matters to him is to put food on the table for his family

Only last month, one of his colleagues perished in one of the pits, forcing the local security apparatus to plead with the national government to suspend mining activities in the region.

However, it has become hectic to enforce the ban and especially at the highly famous Kehancha mining pits where diggers have been sneaking in at night to do illegal mining.

A KNA crew visit last week to the Kehancha gold mines, a few meters from the local Deputy County Commissioner’s offices revealed that the diggers have disregarded the ban.

Mr. Mogosi who the crew interviewed vowed to continue with his job despite the ban. This is the only place I eke my living and anybody telling me to leave this work is like telling me to surrender my life and that of my family to death, said the 40 year old father of seven.

Like Mogosi, Jacob Chacha, another gold digger who has been in the game for over 20 years says dying in the gold mines is like dying in a road accident.

I have not seen the government stopping matatus and buses which kills people daily on our roads from going about their businesses, he said as he munched bananas that he had carried to his work place as his lunch meal this day.

Nobody has been arrested for flouting the June Gold mining ban despite the activity remaining vibrant to date.

On Wednesday last week, the Kuria West Deputy County Commissioner, Kathungu Machira told the County Service Delivery Committee it had become hectic enforcing the ban as the gold diggers had devised other ways of working inside the pits without being noticed.

We have realised that some of the diggers are now entering the pits late into the night and hide for hours to escape arrest by security officers, he said.

A part from causing deaths to the miners, gold mining has been identified as one of the worst destroyers of the environment in the area.

An environmentalist John Moseti decried the numerous gaping holes being left behind by the diggers in the area that exposed the local people to risks of falling in and dying at any time.

The gold mines near Kehancha town has also been interfering with learning in the nearby schools and even causing dangerous cracks on the walls of classrooms and of private buildings around it, added Moseti during an interview with him in Kehancha town.

Source: Kenya News Agency