In a statement on Wednesday, April 26, the CS said his ministry will also close mines that pose risks to miners and other residents.

“The Government is prioritising preventive security strategies as opposed to corrective security interventions. I have ordered a nationwide crackdown on all mines and closure of those that pose a risk to miners and other residents.

“During a visit to Bumutiru gold mines in Butula Sub County, Busia County, directed that an environmental, economic and social impact assessment be conducted and a report with recommendations be submitted within 30 days to inform decisions on the mines,” the statement read in part.

At the same time, the CS said all prospectors must apply for requisite licences from the Mines and Geology Department.

“Parents and National Government Administration officers who allow children to work in mines instead of being in school will be dealt with according to the law,” he added.

There have been numerous cases of miners who have been buried alive in Western Kenya and Nyanza regions.

The body of Tom Okwach, who was buried alive at Abimbo goldmine in Siaya in December 2021, was retrieved seven months later.

He was among nine miners who were in the mining site when the hole caved in.

Eight of his colleagues survived.


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