Owners of mining concessions in Ngororero District have been called upon to lay effective security strategies to prevent illegal mining activities that sometimes result into disasters and loss of life.
The call was made on Tuesday during a one-day meeting that brought together police, owners and representatives of companies conducting mining activities in Ngororero as well as executive secretaries of all sectors in Ngororero.
There are 38 mining companies operating in the district.
The meeting, which was organised by district authorities in partnership with security agencies, aimed at reviewing all mining related issues, and as a result to draw up strategies to overcome existing challenges including those related to security and disasters.
Lt Col Dr Emmanuel Munyengabe, the head of Geology and Mining Department at the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), urged the miners to do away with the traditional methods of mining and embrace modern mining and use of advanced tools.
He also emphasised the need to adhere to mining rules and regulations, insure their employees and to provide them with safety equipment to prevent unnecessary death that might arise out of lack of such protection tools.
Alphonse Mayinga, the District Police Commander of Ngororero, noted that some irregularities that expose their employees to hazards and cause environmental degradation should also be given due attention.
“Most cases of death in mining concessions that we record are linked to illegal mining, especially at night. Security of your concessions should be among your priorities, but also ensure that your mining activities are in line with the operational licence, including protection of the environment,” Mayinga said.
It was agreed that all companies shift to modern means of mining and to acquire safety equipment for their employees.
Out of 38 mining companies in Ngororero, only 17 are said to be using modern mining methods and their employees have access to mining safety equipment.
A similar meeting was also held in Muhanga District.