Rwanda National Police (RNP) reminds the public especially people residing near mining sites to desist and report illegal mining activities which at times result are cause disasters like landslides leading to loss of lives.
On March 1, a man only identified as Buturaga, 35, while mining illegally in Mubuga Cell, Miyove Sector of Gicumbi District died when he tilted a weak cliff, which buried him.
According to Inspector of Police (IP), Innocent Gasasira, police spokesperson for the Northern Province, the deceased entered the concession at about 2 AM.
“The cassiterite had been closed, but unfortunately, there are some people who enter such sites especially at night, which in some cases results into such disasters,” said Gasasira.
The body of the deceased was retrieved on Wednesday after residents reported the incident to police.
“There are reasons as to why such concessions are closed, most of which are security and environmental related. We appeal to the public to desist from entering in these sites because they are deadly, and report anyone they see,” said IP Gasasira.
He also called upon owners and managers of active mining concessions to take precaution and secure their sites against illegal mining activities and preventive measures against disasters.
“Professional miners have all required tools and are able to understand the topography. It is suicide to enter in these sites without the skills, more so at night.”
He appealed to residents to provide timely information on people suspected to be involved in these unlawful activities to prevent likely loss of lives and to fight against illegal mining business, which also has an impact to both the country’s economy and families.
Illegal mining is punishable under article 438 of the Rwandan Penal Code, which attracts a jail term of up to one year in prison and a fine between Rwf3million and Rwf10million or one of these penalties.