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Man Dies in Sand Harvesting Tragedy

A 33-year-old man died after a sand harvesting gorge collapsed on him at Kalal Village in Karachuonyo Constituency.

The man identified as Peter Ouko was alone harvesting sand before he was buried in the sand harvesting site. Residents and his colleagues began searching for him before they traced his body to the site where they dug him out.

Residents and Police Officers at the scene where the body of a man was retrieved. Photos by Davis Langat

“We found the body after excavating the site. The sand became weak and collapsed due to rains that have been pounding the area,” a resident said.

Kobuya Chief Damianus Osano said the ongoing heavy rains pose a hazard to the sand harvesters and cautioned them against engaging in sand harvesting during rains.

Residents called on Homa Bay County government to enact legislation and policies to enhance sustainable sand harvesting in the area.

Willis Okeyo, an NGO official said sand harvesting should be regulated in the area.

“The policies should encompass all factors surrounding sand harvesting to bring sanity in this sector. Transporters overload Tractors with sand even at night,” Okeyo noted.

He lamented that the manner in which sand harvesting is practiced in the area fuels poverty instead of eradicating it. “Middle men who buy sand exploit locals’ thus aggravating poverty in the area,” Okeyo said.

The body was moved to Kendu Adventist Hospital Mortuary.

By Davis Langat

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