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Residents of Muhanga, Kamonyi Cautioned Against Illegal Mining

Rwanda National Police has appealed to resident of Muhanga and Kamonyi districts to desist from acts of illegal mining, which at times result into disasters and affect the environment.

Illegal mining can lead to soil erosion as seen in the picture.

The call was made on March 29 in Cyeza Sector in Muhanga where residents from the two districts converged as part of the RNP awareness against environmental degradation and illegal mining in particular.

Illegal mining is perceived as one of the major causes of environmental degradation and disasters.

The awareness followed earlier separate police operations in the two districts, in which two people were also arrested after they were found mining illegally.

Supt. Justin Ntaganda, the District Police Commander, while speaking to the residents, said illegal mining activities pose danger to those involved.

He warned against such activities, but added that even those licenced firms are required to respect all safety standards.

“Most mining concessions are near water bodies and can release harmful chemicals into such waters, if the standards are not followed, which is also against and punishable by the law,” Supt. Ntaganda said.

He urged them to plant trees, relocate from high risk zones to allocated safe zones and report anyone they find conducting any unlawful activity that affects the environment in one way or another.

Illegal mining can lead to accidents to both people and animals.

“We have previously had cases of illegal miners being trapped or killed in caves, which we want to stop jointly, because safety and security is equally the role of everyone.”

Whoever attempts illegal mining, he explained, risks a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to Rwf10 million as par article 438 of the Penal Code.

The acting mayor of Muhanga, Claude Sebashi echoed the same call, but reminded the residents to take an upper hand in reporting an unlawful and criminal act, to police or local leaders.

By Robert Muriisa, RNP.

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