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ELECTION 2022

Search for miner enters second week

NYANZA
By Isaiah Gwengi | Dec 17th 2021 | 2 min read

The family of Tom Okwach is still camping at the site, with hopes that their kin will be found alive. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The search for one miner who is still trapped in Abimbo gold mine has entered its second week.

The family of Tom Okwach is still camping at the site, with hopes that their kin will be found alive.

On Tuesday, family and friends of Jacob Onyango, a survivor of the December 2 tragedy held celebrations at their home in Malela, Rarieda sub-county.

Caren Adhiambo, Onyango’s mother said it was a miracle that her son alive after the horrific incident.

“Even as we celebrate, we are still holding prayers for the family of the miner who is still trapped,” said Adhiambo.

Onyango, who could not hide his joy appealed to the government to deploy experts at the site to retrieve Okwach who is still trapped.

With the big crowd that had gathered at the site fading away and operations in the nearby mining sites resuming, Okwach’s family now clings to hope and prayers.

Last week, the Anglican Church of Kenya Mothers Union conducted prayers at the site and donated some foodstuff to affected families.

Scanty information

Even though there is scanty information about the state of the trapped miner, rescuers are racing against time to save Okwach, who was among the eight miners trapped while mining last week.

Until five days ago, the rescuers said they were communicating with Okwach through a pipe that was also used to pump in oxygen.

When The Standard visited the site yesterday, the compressor that was used to pump in oxygen after every ten minutes had gone silent, with a section of Okwach's family members fearing for the worst.

"I will not leave here until I see my son even if it will take me months... whether he is alive or dead," said Okwach's mother.

On December 8, three victims were rescued and taken to Bondo Sub-County Hospital.

Yesterday, Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda called on the family of Enos On’gonga, one of the victims, to halt any burial plans until the last victim is found.

“It will only be a sign of unity and abiding by the traditions to have the burial only after the last victim has been rescued,” said Ochanda.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga on Monday announced that his administration was going to cater for the hospital bills and burial expenses for the survivors and the deceased.

The lawmaker, who accused the national government of its failure to treat the matter as an emergency, said they will give any assistance to ensure that Okwach is found. 

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