By: PROBLYN J. ALPHA
Two children Yusufu Kamara and Issa Tullah have allegedly drowned in a dug out mining pit at Madina Village in Nimikoro Chiefdom, Kono District.
According to an eye witness, John Conteh who was also in company with the deceased left the said village for one of the dugout mining pits to take their bath. He said whilst removing his cloth he heard a strange sound at that point two of his friends jumped into the water to swim.
He said whilst his friends were swimming, he saw both of them sinking and as a result, cried for help from a man who was standing nearly the dugout pit at the time the two children were struggling to save themselves, but the man responded that he does not know how to swim.
The eye witness noted that haven contacted other people to rescue his friends, upon their arrival at the mining pit; his friends had already drowned, adding that those who came to rescue them ended removing their remains from the pit.
The young boy whilst in a pool of tears called on the authorities in Nimikoro Chiefdom and Kono District as a whole to enforce the existing bye-laws for the reclamation of dug out mining pits as they have claimed the lives of so many people especially children in Kono District.
Speaking to our correspondent, the parents of the deceased Sarah Bangura and Finda Tullah expressed their dismay over the rampant illegal town mining that is ongoing at the Chiefdom, which they said is the recipe for frequent drowning in the district.
The two parents whilst describing the reclaimed dug out mining pits as a death trap in their community, they pleaded with those concern especially the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and National Minerals Agency to do the needful so that lives of the remaining children and adults will be protected.
Aiah Bangai is the town Chief of Madina village in Nimikoro Chiefdom, Kono District in an interview with our r correspondent described most of the miners at Madina Village as lawless and disrespectful. In many occasions, he has told them to backfill mined out areas but to no avail.
He pointed out that the said information about the drowning of the two infants met him whilst in Koidu City nothing that immediately he got the information, he wasted no time but to return to Madina where the said drowning took place.
“Upon my arrival I went and reported the issue at the Police Station where I was given two police officers to visit the scene of crime and later the bodies were handed over to their respective family members for burial whilst police investigation into the said drowning matter is ongoing,” Chief Aiah Bangai explained .
He added that since he assumed office eleven (11) years ago this was the first time for such to have happened and described the situation as not only as unfortunate, but scaring. He disclosed plans of taking stringent legal actions against those that he referred to as lawless miners.