Artisanal miners scramble for gold rich ores at a road construction site in Rongo town. PHOTO: IAN BYRON,KTMN

A fresh scramble for gold ores has emerged in Rongo town, paralyzing activities following a discovery of the precious metal at a road construction site along the busy Kisii- Migori highway.

Miners have attributed the current influx to harsh working conditions in the precarious Migori gold belt pushing them to a near open cast approach.

For two months since the road expansion started, Rongo town has witnessed an influx of human traffic, with majority scrambling for pieces of rocks believed to be rich in gold ores.

Artisanal miners and local gold explores have hit the roads in search for the precious metal after it emerged that gold deposits had been sighted at the road construction site.

And leaving nothing to chance, young men, women and even school going children have thronged the once quiet Rongo town where trucks ferrying gold rich ores are being deposited.

A gold rich ore picked by a miner at tyhe road construction site. PHOTO:IAN BYRON,KTMN

The craze being witnessed has been attributed to the dangerous expeditions in the gold mines that have in the past claimed several lives while leaving other miners with unprecedented injuries.

“This has eased our work of going underground for gold exploits. Here we just carry as much ores as we can and head straight to the grinding mill.”

Caleb Okinyi, artisanal miner

A spot-check by KTMN News revealed that Rongo town is a bee hive of activities, with majority of artisanal miners some from as far as adjacent towns of Homa Bay, Awendo and Kisii rushing to eke a living from the new found lucrative venture.

Mr Joakim Ochieng, a miner who has plied the trade for over a decade termed the current road construction a “blessing in disguise as what have taken them several meters underground was now at their disposal.”

“We never thought the huge rocks being deposited by the roadside were gold ores. It was until one of use took a sample for leaching that we discovered the ores were laden with unrefined gold.”

Joakim Ochieng, gold miner

The Kisii-Isebania highway whose construction started back in 2019 is in its final stages of expansion hence the need for reinforcement by hard rocks.

Locals throng Ranen Hill where earth movers are pulling down rocks for road construction. PHOTO: IAN BYRON,KTMN

The Chinese farm undertaking the construction has been breaking huge hills around Kanga, Kitere and Ranen in search for construction rocks.

With huge earth movers and sophisticated machines used to bring down the hills, huge rock deposits have unearthed hidden treasure that have been ignored for seasons.

Area residents who have been in the gold business have now shifted to the construction site after word went round that the rocks laden with gold ores.

“It is interesting that the road under construction is being done by gold. We no longer go to the gold mines since the ores are now lying by the roadside, some too huge that we cannot even lift,” joked one resident.

By IAN BYRON

Managing Editor, Writer and Political Affairs Enthusiast

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