Police have warned against illegal mining activities, which increase the risk of fatalities from disasters.
The call follows an accident that happened on May 18, involving an illegal miner who drowned as he tried to wash minerals he had extracted from a mine in Rutagara Cell, Muhanda Sector of Ngororero District.
The deceased, a 28 year old man, is said to have illegally mined cassetirite at night together with colleagues, but as they tried to wash the minerals in a nearby stream, he drowned.
“It was very dark and they did not carry torches; so as they washed the minerals, one of them slid into the stream and drowned,” Inspector of Police Theobald Kanamugire, the Police Spokesperson for Western Region, said.
He noted that residents around mining concessions should steer away from illegal mining in order to avoid such accidents. He also called on mining companies and cooperatives to strictly provide protective gear to their miners whenever they are on duty.
Article 438 of the Penal Code condemns illegal mining and unauthorized mineral exploration, with a term of imprisonment between six months and one year, plus a fine between Rwf3 million and Rwf10 million or one of these penalties.