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Kenya: three miners buried alive

Kenyan Peasants League wrote: Three Miners have been confirmed dead in Nango, Bondo in Siaya County, Kenya after a mine collapsed due to heavy rains burring them alive on 10 October 2019. According to Bondo Sub County Commander Anthony Wafula who spoke to Daily Nation, the remains of the three had been retrieved and their bodies taken to Bondo Sub County Referral Hospital mortuary.

The Kenyan Peasants League (KPL) Access to Natural Resources Collective send our sympathy and solidarity to the families of the three deceased namely David Ochieng Duro a student at the Egerton University, Nakuru Campus, Nicholas Arwa, a student at Uyawi Secondary School who was due to start his final examinations, the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education at Uyawi Secondary School and Kevin Ochieng' Juma, also a secondary school student. The KPL is raising concerns regarding unregulated proliferation of artisanal mining in the region that has led to several deaths and is asking the Government and the Authorities to move in and protect the residents from unscrupulous foreign mining companies that exploit the locals by exposing them to illegal and risky mining activities. The region has seen rise of artisanal mining activities from Macalder Mines in Migori County where Two miners perished in May 2018, to Oyugis in Homa Bay County, to Kanga area in Migori County to Kurutyange area in Kuria Sub County in Migori County. KPL Policy Advisor Cidi Otieno stated that "apart from local mining companies ignoring safety of the miners by exposing them to risky mining ventures, and focusing more on profits over livelihoods of the miners and the locals, the mining activities have led to increased pollution of rivers and environment in general especially in areas like Kanga where local River Kuja has seen increased pollution ans siltation". Cidi added that with the proposed Food Crops Regulations 2019 aiming at stopping farming activities in mining areas, "if the proliferation of illegal mining activities is not checked, then the local farmers could be driven out of farming as these illegal mining activities are cropping up in areas that are traditionally agricultural areas meaning that they are likely to be stopped from farming". KPL has already petitioned the authorities over the punitive Food Crops Regulations 2019 The fact that some mining companies operate in Kenya without license are from Countries that Kenya is heavily indebted to is an indication of how Debt is being used to manipulate Kenyan laws to favor such companies who operate with impunity with total disregard to safety of both the miners and the locals. KPL is therefore calling for an audit of all illegal mining companies with a view of establishing their countries of origin, how they brought in heavy mining machinery unnoticed and how this is related to the Debts that Kenya owe to the countries these companies come from.

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