Mining is one of the deadliest professions and anyone who survives an accident deep in the earth’s belly can count themselves lucky.
With the sprouting of several mining concessions, most of them artisanal, it is inevitable that accidents are bound to happen as reported in the media from time to time.
That is when authorities begin to stress the importance of safety measures, as if they had been caught unawares. But do they need accidents to occur before setting up preventive measures?
But the most important question to ask is: Are emergency workers well prepared to deal with major catastrophes? If a mine was to cave in a few hundred metres down, are they equipped to handle it?
These are questions that should, in normal circumstances, be asked before a major incident visits the people.
As demonstrated by the recent outbreak of fires around the country, the emergency services’ underbelly was left exposed by its lack of preparedness, but at least it has spurred authorities to do something about it.
It does not need a rocket scientist to deduce that accidents come without warning and usually occur when the guard has been let down. Government bodies that have emergency services in their attributions should jump the queue to secure the environment.
It is true natural disasters are unpredictable, but their nefarious effects could be reduced by forward thinking and preparedness.