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Man buried alive while harvesting sand

By James Omoro | April 18th 2021
A mountain of sand. [Courtesy]

A man died while harvesting sand at a quarry in Homa Bay County.

Peter Ouko was found dead at Kalal Village, Kobuya Location in Rachuonyo North Sub-county on Sunday.

Ouko’s body was retrieved a day after his colleague, Odhiambo Omollo, was rescued by villagers after the quarry caved in.

Confirming the incident, Kobuya Chief Damianus Osano, said the quarry collapsed due to heavy rains.

“Retrieval has been concluded today and it is unfortunate that Ouko has been found dead,” said Osano.

Residents who rescued a faint Omollo, 22, did not realize that Ouko was trapped.

The discovery was made after a search party retraced the movements of the 33-year- old to the collapsed quarry on Saturday.

According to a resident Willis Okeyo, sand harvesting should be regulated in the area.

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“The policies should encompass all factors surrounding sand harvesting to bring sanity in this sector. Today there is overloading by those who buy sand from the area. Some transport sand even at night,” said Okeyo.

Okeyo said poverty was also pushing miners into dangerous shafts.

“People who buy sand exploit locals by paying them peanuts. This increases the level of poverty among residents,” Okeyo lamented.

Peter Ouko’s body was moved to Kendu Adventist Hospital morgue.

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