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Four Women Killed As Mining Site Collapses in Bauchi (Photo)

Posted by Thandiubani on Tue 30th Jan, 2024 -

According to an eyewitness, the women were unable to escape the cave site on time and the falling earth crushed them to death.

At least four women have been killed after a mining site collapsed in Gudum Sayawa.
The incident happened in a rural settlement of the Bauchi metropolis in Bauchi state.
According to a Nigerian Tribune report published on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, residents of Gudum Sayawa are mostly agrarian people who engage in all-season farming but recently ventured into mining activities in order to complement their earning. 
However, because of the poor harvest witnessed in recent years, mining activities have increased, with women and children mostly involved.  
It was gathered that the site collapsed on Thursday, January 25, 2024, killing three of the women instantly, while one died a few days later at the hospital where she was receiving treatment. 
According to an eyewitness, the women were unable to escape the cave site on time and the falling earth crushed them to death. 
Reacting to the incident, a community leader, Daniel Iliya, who is the Galadima of Gudum Sayawa, described it as “most horrible and unfortunate.”
“We need the government to come and assess the mining sites to see if it is safe for artisanal miners to work there, so we don’t lose our villagers again. If that is done, it will reduce the risks associated with mining operations,” he said. 
He opines that the removal of fuel subsidy compelled them to engage in unregulated mining activities in the area, which has led to the death of four people, with several others still receiving treatment
Family members of the affected victims also shared their thoughts, saying that the current high cost of living necessitated their actions to jump into mining activities as a means of survival since the fuel price is no longer stable. 
Jonah Saraki and Mary Jonah, who are the parents of one of the victims, described the incident as worrisome despite fetching income for the immediate family to reduce the high cost of living currently in the country. 
"We cautioned some of them at the site to be on alert so that if they sense any danger, they can leave immediately," the bereaved parents said.
"Mining is helping us a lot because some of our people have started reaping the benefits through several means, as those who barely afford food can now do so.”
"We and our children go to the mining site and dig for precious stones. Since the cost of living has shot up, we have no choice; our husbands cannot afford to foot our bills anymore, leaving us with no choice," they added. 
Saraya Audu, a miner and mother of many children who were among those involved in the early discovery of monoxide at the mining site, narrates her experience as a mixed one.
“After discovering the mine site, our people shifted to mining immediately. I joined them last year, but while working at the site, I got fractured,” she said. 
"The proceeds from mining are helping us and our family members, especially some of us who have plenty of children.”
At the mining site and separation area, operators said at least 100 people go there on a daily basis to mine different minerals, such as monoxide, zaicon, and other precious stones, for transactions with other business communities as a source of income. 

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