The family of the miner who was retrieved from Abimbo mineshaft last week will not proceed with the burial until the eighth person who is still trapped is retrieved.
This is according to Siaya County Miners Association Chairman Odhiambo Orido who claim they are bound by tradition not to bury the miner.
“The body of the miner(Collins Otieno Ongong’a ) will still remain at Bondo Hospital Mortuary till we find the miner still trapped and covered by the Debris. So far there are few activities going on at the home of the deceased," he stated.
The deceased’s brother Stephen Ongong’a and his mother Florence Ongong’a are seeking burial support arguing that the mortuary bills might overwhelm them.
“We have been told to wait until all the miners who were trapped get retrieved but the last man is still down at the shaft on the 13th day. We fear that we may be overwhelmed with the mortuary bills because the rescue mission for the remaining one person is taking longer than was expected,” they said
Meanwhile, the family of the 22-year-old gold miner who is still trapped at the collapsed gold mine has decried neglect as the rescue mission enters its 13th day today.
Tom Okwach who was among the eight miners that had been trapped after the mining shafts collapsed on December 2, 2021, is yet to be rescued and his mother Joyce Ogunde laments that they have been neglected.
Okwach’s mother regretted that many people were now losing hope and therefore pleaded with the government to hasten the rescue process to enable them to retrieve their kin from the mines.
Her concerns have also been shared by the chairman of Siaya County gold miners Odari who stated that they still need support to conclude that exercise which has taken long overdue.
However, Siaya Deputy Governor Dr James Okumbe has dismissed remarks by rescue teams that they have been abandoned by the government.
Okumbe said they have responded to the miners’ distress by providing financial support and other modalities that ensure their daily operations runs smoothly.
“We have been providing fuel, monetary and daily operation support that has supplemented their own efforts,” he added.
"It's through joint supports that has seen six of the miners discharged from Bondo-sub-county hospital with County government of Siaya waiving their hospital bills,” Okumbe added.