Residents in Oruba and Kogenyi in Suna West, Migori County have raised alarms over the open holes that put their lives do great danger.
Led by the area chief Charles Ouma, the residents decried that the holes that were left open by miners have led to more problems and even deaths have been reported.
“We have witnessed deaths caused by these holes that were left open after the miners exhausted the gold deposits,” said Ouma.
Ouma confirmed that six people have been consumed by the open holes with the last one being the death of a grade 4 pupil.
“We have had several death cases in this area caused by the open holes. The last death report I had was a grade 4 pupil,’ he added.
The area residents expressed their dissatisfaction with the failure of the County Department of Environment to fill the open holes.
Additionally, the residents have also complained of failure to fence the areas used for mining which has made their livestock get stuck when grazing.
“We also condemn the failure to fence this area which has been exploited for gold mining. This has made most of our livestock get stuck when on the fields,” said a resident.
Ouma also said that the attempts to contact the owner of the gold mine have been futile, adding that he is yet to take further action to ensure the safety of the residents.
The open holes have been a health risk to the residents, especially during the rainy season as it is used by mosquitoes as their brooding sites.
This makes the area prone to malaria and Bilharzia due to the stagnated water in the open holes.
The residents who fear for their lives have called upon the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to act swiftly to ensure their safety which is at stake.
The holes which add up to 15 according to the residents have rendered the area a danger zone, especially at night.
This makes movement in the area impossible because one is unaware of what the next step will land them into.
With the numerous attempts to save the lives of the residents, Chief Ouma’s only hope is that the county officials will take a swift and bolder step to salvage their lives