Gbanepea Gold Mine “an Environmental Death Trap”

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The proliferation of artisanal mining in Liberia, especially in Nimba County, with the huge presence of youngsters, is becoming alarming.

David Zubah, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspector in Nimba County, says the Gbanepea Gold Mine is an “environmental death trap,” and therefore, the government should order its immediate closure, though no officials have visited the site since the disaster occurred few day ago.

He has recommended to authorities of the Ministry of Justice to deploy armed police officers to the mining site to maintain law and order as a means of avoiding further disaster.

Speaking shortly after he arrived at the gold mine on Wednesday, February 13, Zubah said there is an urgent need to close the mine without delay. According to him, the mine has been exposed to many holes, which endangers the lives of the young and inexperienced miners.

“The miners have dug so many holes that are likely to cause the death of many of the miners if the mine remains open,” Mr. Zubah said.

Since the February 9 incident that reported about 40 miners being trapped under the debris, Zubah is the first local government official that have visited the scene.

Artisanal miners, Nimba County

Up to press time last time last night, about five persons have remained confirmed dead, and about 35 others still trapped (presumed dead) under the rubble. There is no roster or record to know exactly how many persons worked in the gold mine prior to the disaster, as the whereabouts of the head miner remains unknown.

The area has previously witnessed series of disasters resulting in multiple deaths, according to the head of the local district in charge of monitoring the mine, Nuah Beah, a prominent resident said.

The proliferation of artisanal mining in Liberia, especially in Nimba County, with the huge presence of youngsters, is becoming alarming.

The government is yet to regulate the mining process as well as the extracted minerals, thus leaving the fate of the gems in the hands of the miners.

4 COMMENTS

  1. This Liberian government is so incompetent that it can’t do the most basic thing which is to protect its citizens from harm. The Liberian people are learning a painful lesson that election has consequences if you vote for someone who is not capable of doing the job as President. Everyday is chaos in the country. I was in Monrovia recently and the entire city was dark as hell- no street lights working. When Ellen was president, the major streets of Monrovia were lit with street lights. This government is an embarrassment.

  2. Bro. Phil, I certainly agreed that elections have consequences. The massive ignorance of a large sector of the country must also be blamed for corruption, incompetence and the direction of our Nation.The choices Liberians make is a major embarrassment for our Nation and the region. Sadly, there are many very ignorant people elected in this Government than any government in the past. The national legislature is no exception. We’re in serious trouble as a Nation and people. There is a need for Liberia Nationalist Movement to save our land. Recent story of infighting within the highest leadership of the Nation must claim our immediate attention. Our Nation is on the brink of serious social, political and economic upheavals. We must unite now and not later.

  3. Running a government is a very serious matter. This is not a boys club where anything goes. there is no accounting for mismanagement and inefficiency. there were reports of death at this mine prior to february 9. nothing was done. they shut it down for a few days and then went back to mining. all individuals including the area officials should be sacked. I am so embarrassed with this government i feel as if a bunch of incompetent gronia boys running the government

  4. Mining is Engineering; not Joke
    One has to put all the safety requirements in place before mining starts.
    Who in Liberia knows how? I new they were dead.
    Liberia is not educated? Nothing will work because the development process or planning has not started.
    God bless Liberia.

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