The County Government of Siaya has disputed claims that they have abandoned operations to retrieve the body of Tom Okwach who is still trapped inside Abimbo gold mine after it caved in on him and other miners on December 2, 2021.
Joseph Onyango, the officer in charge of Governance and Administration in Siaya County said a budget of Ksh6 million has been approved by the county to help retrieve Okwach's body explaining that the county is now only looking for the money to ensure the exercise is done as soon as possible.
"The county government has continuously supported the works at the site. I can recall, the County Disaster Management Committee sat a week ago and came up with a budget in which the retrieval committee at Abimbo site was also invited to the meeting and they gave their input.
"From that point, a budget of Ksh6,367,745 was arrived at which was approved by the County Disaster Committee and the county government is still looking for the money to be used to retrieve the dead body at Abimbo.
Speaking to the press, Okwach's family said they have sold all they can to purchase fuel for the excavators digging out the soil in a bid to unearth his body.
His family says Okwach opted out of bodaboda business to engage in mining in order to supplement his income.
His mother says Okwach has been the breadwinner of the family and had even promised to send them money for shopping two days before the unfortunate incident.
“I lost my first son years ago and Okwach has always been the breadwinner. I hope I will see him alive once again,” his mother said in a December 2021 interview.