Residents of Gatsibo district were Wednesday warned against unlicensed mining and child labour in the mining sector.
Some abandoned tin mines are being exploited illegally and many use children to work in the mines instead of sending them to school, the Governor of the Eastern Province, Fred Mufulukye said.
He was meeting with artisanal miners and parents of children working in mines in Rwarenga Cell, Remera Sector.
He said that some middlemen who buy the illegal minerals and sell them to licensed companies would be investigated and given a proper response.
Anaclet Nzeyimana, in charge of education in Remera Sector, said this year they had 165 children who dropped out of school, and thanks to mobilisation efforts, 106 have since returned back to school.
Some of the mentioned unoccupied mining sites are located in Bugarura and Kigabiro cells
“Due to lack of a company that is authorised to manage the mining sites, parents go to work there illegally and sometimes accompanied by their children,” Nzeyimana said.
For example, he added, if a child has morning classes, the parents would take them to the mines in the afternoon.