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50 People Feared Dead in DR Congo After Gold Mine Flooding

Representative picture. (Pic Source: Reuters)

The accident within the makeshift mine occurred on Friday within the city of Kamituga, in South Kivu province, about 270 kilometres (170 miles) southwest of the regional capital Bukavu.

  • AFP
  • Last Updated: September 13, 2020, 7:59 AM IST

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About 50 persons are feared useless after an artisanal gold mine flooded within the japanese Democratic Republic of Congo after torrential rain, a provincial governor mentioned Saturday.

The accident within the makeshift mine occurred on Friday within the city of Kamituga, in South Kivu province, about 270 kilometres (170 miles) southwest of the regional capital Bukavu.






DR Congo’s mineral-rich however risky east faces common assaults from a plethora of militias and insurgent teams which function freely within the area.

South Kivu governor Theo Ngwabidje Kasi deplored “the tragic deaths of 50 people, most of them young”.

However, Kamituga mayor Alexandre Bundya mentioned “we are not yet sure of the exact number” of victims.

No our bodies had been recovered up to now, he mentioned, including that “19 families have come to look for their relatives”.

DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi mentioned he was “deeply saddened” and requested the federal government to “take strong measures so that such tragedies are not repeated.”

A neighborhood resident on the scene, Jean Nondo Mukambilwa, instructed AFP that just one physique had been discovered up to now.

Torrential rain had flooded a river near the mine, and dismissed an earlier report that the mine had caved in, he mentioned. “It was not a collapse. It was because of the rains that the accident happened,” he defined.

“Water went into the three tunnels. When people tried to get out, there was no way as the water was flowing strongly, with high pressure.”

Hundreds of individuals gathered on the entrance to one of many tunnels, a video despatched to AFP by the witness confirmed.

Men utilizing shovels had been making an attempt to clear the doorway to the slim passageway, as Red Cross employees stood ready.

The mayor decreed two days of mourning and known as on locals to assist extract the our bodies from the bottom. “Investigations must be carried out to find out the causes of this disaster,” mentioned a consultant of civil society, Nicolas Kyalangalilwa.

“The authorities must take responsibility instead of taxing” these miners.

Accidents in DR Congo’s makeshift mines are frequent and infrequently lethal.

In June 2019, at the very least 39 males died when a copper mine in Kolwezi, within the southeastern Katanga area, partially collapsed.

Because many such mines are in distant areas nonetheless, the accidents are under-reported. DR Congo has big reserves of gold, cobalt, copper and coltan.

It is the world’s largest producer of cobalt, essential for making the batteries utilized in cell phones and electrical automobiles.

The unlawful miners promote what they discover to native merchants, who promote it on to giant international firms and are normally paid a pittance.

Mining hardly advantages DR Congo’s greater than 80 million individuals. The World Bank mentioned in 2018 that 72 p.c of the inhabitants lived on lower than 1.9 {dollars} a day.

Most Congolese earn their residing in casual financial sectors akin to makeshift mining.

According to a report by London-based specialist agency Darton, as much as 16 p.c of the cobalt extracted within the mineral-rich Katanga province got here from unlawful miners.


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