Having being given the responsibility to determine the cause of death of Ramold Williams, 18, a miner killed on Sunday last, after a mine pit caved-in burying him, Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes is of the view that negligence may have caused the young man’s death.
Williams called ‘Fat Man’ of 58 Miles, Mabura Road, Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Berbice) was working with
four others in the mining pit at Konawaruk Backdam, Potaro, Region Eight (Potaro/Siparuni), when the eastern wall caved in and covered him. The others ran for cover.
Efforts to rescue the man were futile after his lifeless body was found. He was taken to the Mahdia Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
After the young man’s death, a committee was established to probe the incident and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman had tasked his junior to immediately visit the area in order to ascertain the circumstances leading to the death of Williams.
Following a visit to the site Thursday, Minister Broomes believes that negligence and breach of mining regulations may be responsible for the miner’s death.
Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA) on her findings, she said: “I think its complete negligence. The owner of the operations is in Georgetown and is communicating with the workers and did not even go back and visit the site. One would say maybe he is scared, scared of what? I want to put miners on notice, you will have to put the lives of the workers first and put money after.”
According to the junior minister, they were able to see the poor conditions that miners are exposed to out there. She noted that this is something that government intends to change but this needs to be a collaborative effort among land owners, the operators, the workers and the policy makers to bring about the change.
“(Miners) are important, you are somebody’s son, somebody’s wife, somebody’s father, somebody’s wife and mother and to value your life also to be on this fight to prevent fatalities,” Brooms appealed.
The government has voiced dissatisfaction with the way mining is being done in Guyana and has adopted an inter-agency collaborative approach to regulate the sector.
Late last year President David Granger appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate deaths at mining operations. A report has since been produced and handed over to Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman.