By TIMOTHY MBAYA
Residents of Kanga in Rongo sub-county have called on the government to close down mines in the area over the looming danger from their houses and lives.
This is after their houses began experiencing cracks due to the heavy mining activity that is going on at a residential area, few meters from Kanga center.
According to Rael Omollo, residents in the area are living in fear of their houses collapsing on them, killing them.
Omollo said the cracks are as a result of explosives used by the gold miners to blast through rocks in the gold mines that are surrounded by residential homes.
The woman’s son Kennedy Obware’s house which is less than ten meters from the mine and still under construction is the most affected.
“My main worry is that those mining gold here are damaging my son’s house. The loud explosives they use have led to this house developing very huge cracks and am very worried for my son,” Omollo said.
A spot check by Migori News revealed that at least ten households within a hundred meter radius were affected by the mining activity in the area.
Omollo who is in her late sixties also said that the explosives used in the mines endangered the lives of the old and the sick.
“The blasts are too loud that it shakes my house. You can imagine what some of us who are old and sick go through,” she explained.
Migori News learnt that the locals had tried negotiating with the owners of the mine to leave the site in vain.
Omollo alleged that the miners bragged of paying off some government officers in Migori town and therefore could not be stopped from mining.
“We hear that they were given a go ahead to continue mining at the site despite our numerous interventions,” said Omollo.
Her son, Obware who currently lives in Mombasa speaking to Migori News on phone said he was going to lose millions as his house could collapse due to the mining activity.
“I hope you have seen that the mine is just next to my house and already the damage is visible,” Obware said
Elias Kazungu, Obware’s caretaker at the Kanga home wondered why the alleged government officers okayed the mining in a residential area.
“It is sad that the government which should be looking into the welfare of its people is the one that has allowed this illegal mining to continue here,” Kazungu said.
Kanga High School and Kanga Primary School are also affected by the mining activity.
Principal Michael Gweno said though the school’s buildings were not affected by the blasts, the schools borehole often suffers water shortage as a result of the mining.
“You know when they are mining, they tend to pump out a lot of water from the mines and this lowers the water table of our boreholes,” Gweno said.
On May 7 this year, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Mining John Omenge suspended mining activities on Copper Hill at Macalder mines in Nyatike.