Four  Women Killed in Bauchi Mining Site

Four  Women Killed in Bauchi Mining Site

Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

Residents of Gudum Sayawa community, a suburb in Bauchi metropolis, were thrown into mourning following the death of four women who lost their lives when a mining site in the area caved in.

THISDAY checks revealed that the cave collapsed and killed three of the women instantly, while one died a week after at the hospital where she was receiving treatment for the injury.

Our correspondent also reported that residents of Gudum Sayawa are mostly agrarian people who engage in all season farming though not in a large scale but subsistence farming. The community only recently ventured into mining activities in order to complement what comes from the farming.

However, because of poor harvest in the recent years, mining activities have increased with women and children mostly involved as they can be seen moving from one site to the order engaged in the activities.

According to an eyewitness, the women were unable to escape on time and were crushed by the falling earth.

A community leader, Mr. Daniel Iliya, who is the Galadima of Gudum Sayawa, confirmed the incident, which he described as most horrible and unfortunate.

“We need government to come and assess the mining sites to see if they are safe so we do not lose our villagers again. If that is done, it will reduce the risks associated with mining operations” Iliya said.

He stated that the removal of fuel subsidy has compelled them to engage in unregulated mining activities in the area, which has led to the death of four people with several others down receiving treatment.

Family members of the victims lamented that the current high cost of living necessitated their actions to jump into mining activities as a means of survival, since the fuel price is no longer stable which affect their business struggle for daily bread.

Mr. Jonah Saraki and Mrs. Mary Jonah are parents of one of the victims described the incident as worrisome. 

“We cautioned some of them at the site to be on alert so that if they sense any danger, they can leave immediately. Mining is helping us a lot because some of our people have started reaping the benefits as those who could barely afford food can now do so.

“We and our children go to the mining site and dig for precious stones. Since the cost of living has shot up, we have no choice, our husbands cannot afford to foot our bills anymore leaving us with no choice,” said the bereaved parents.

Ms. Saraya Audu, a miner and mother of many children who was among the early discovery of the monoxide at the mining site, narrated her experience as a mixed one.

According to her, “after discovering the mine site our people shifted to mining immediately. I joined them last year, but while working at the site, I got fractured, the proceeds from mining is helping us and our family members, especially some of us that have plenty children.”

At the mining site and separation area, operators said at least 100 people go there on a daily basis to mine different minerals, such as monoxide, zaicon and other precious stones for transaction with other business communities as source of income.

Efforts to get reaction of the concerned authorities failed as no official at both the federal and Bauchi State Ministry of Mines was ready to comment on the tragedy at the time of filling this report.

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