A mining accident in Muhanga District killed one person on Saturday when an unsupported cliff at a site in Ruhango Cell of Rongi Sector caved in.
It is alleged that Emmanuel Tugirabantu, the deceased, had sneaked into the mining site at night to mine illegally when he got covered by landslides.
Following the incident, Rwanda National Police (RNP) has reiterated its call to owners and managers of mining concessions to ensure safety at their sites to prevent likely disasters that may arise.
Jean Bosco Karega, the Muhanga District Police commander, reminded owners of mining sites that the security of their concessions should be their priority.
“Owners of these sites are expected to follow all the necessities as per the license and this includes roads, safety of their employees and that of the site, and covering all the trenches they no longer use,” the DPC said.
“Most of the victims are those hiding under darkness and mine illegally; there’s need for these mining companies to ensure security of these sites to prevent such from happening,” he added.
Article 438 of the Penal Code states that “any person who undertakes illegal research or illegally carries out commercial activities in valuable minerals, shall be liable to imprisonment of six months to one year and a fine of Rwf3 million to Rwf10 million or one of these penalties.”
Karega also urged people residing near mining concessions to report anyone they see attempting to engage in illegal activities.
Aimable Ndayisaba, the executive secretary of Rongi Sector, echoed the same message, adding that every person working in these concessions should be ensured and should wear protective gear.
Ndayisaba called on owners of mining concessions to always check the status of their sites before sending in their employees to prevent disasters.