AFRICA/DR CONGO - At least 50 dead in the gold mine collapse in Kivu

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 justice   economy  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - There are those who wonder why a person should work for 3 euros an hour, or harvest tomatoes for one euro per box, or like young people from Kamituga (Kivu, eastern Congo) dig makeshift mines with bare hands to find some gold dust? They have no other options. And among the possibilities there is the (high) probability of getting killed. And this is what happened on Friday 11 September to at least 50 young people who died while the nearby river Elila flooded due to heavy rains. The governor of the province was saddened by "the tragic death of fifty people, most of them young", adding that searches are underway to identify the victims.
"We do not know the exact number of dead", said the mayor, Alexandre Bundya, who declared a two-day mourning period and urged local residents to help extract the bodies from the ground".
According to some witnesses, there is only one survivor. 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.
For pastor Nicolas Kyalangalilwa: "the authorities must assume their responsibilities, instead of thinking about how to tax miners".
Local traders resell the product of poorly paid artisinal miners' labor to cross-border traffickers, who in turn illegally export this production mainly to Bujumbura, Burundi, or Kampala, Uganda, where gold is sold at high prices to the monarchies of the Gulf or Europe.
According to a UN report, Dubai remains the final destination for gold produced by artisanal miners in the DRC. (F.F.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 16/9/2020)