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Abimbo Gold Mine Victim’s Family Pleads With Government To Allow Their Kin’s Burial

Abimbo mine
Rescue operations at Abimbo gold mine. Photo: Courtesy

The family of Collins Otieno, who died after Abimbo gold mine collapsed, has called upon the government to release his body for burial.

Otieno was among 10 miners who were trapped inside Abimbo Gold mine in Bondo, Siaya County when it collapsed on Thursday, December 2.

Speaking to the press on Sunday, Otieno’s mother Florence Ongung’a said that the government had barred her from burying her son until all the persons who were buried alive are retrieved.

Florence wants to bury her son because she is worried about the rising mortuary bills.

“I do not have anything. I am not sure what bill they mortuary will present me with as well as the coffin and transport costs. I appeal to the County Government to help me,” she told the press.

She further said that her son was urged to go the mine by his friends instead of idling.

“His colleagues were nudging him to go to the mine to make some money instead of sitting at home. I did not even know when he left for the Abimbo mine,” Florence said.

She was away running some errands and was informed through a phone call about the Abimbo accident.

Otieno’s brother Stephen Ochieng’ said hat the family had gathered at the deceased’s home waiting for the government to give them a way forward.

“We were waiting for information from the government to see how we can bury him,” he stated.

The family says the government’s directive has landed them into confusion and they can not go on with their lives until their kin is buried.

“Through consultations with the DCIO, they told us that until all the bodies have been removed. We asked if there is a way they can help us to bury the body,” another relative said.

8 miners were rescued alive from the rubbles of the gold mine. One more person, Tom Okwatch, 35, is yet to be rescued.

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