Two children drown in abandoned mines in Rubirizi

RUBIRIZI, UGANDA: Two children have drowned in abandoned mines in Rubirizi district. They are 15-year-old Agnes Tumukunde and 14-year-old Gift Kyoshabire, both pupils of Nyakaramibi Primary school and residents of Rutondo cell in Kyabakara sub county.

The two children drowned on Sunday while collecting papyrus to make crafts. James Mushabe, the LC 1 chairperson of Rutondo cell says that they heard screams from a girl he only identifies as Nabaasa who survived drowning.

He says that by the time they reached the mines, the other two children had already died. Mushabe says that children often go to the swamps around the abandoned mines to pick papyrus for crafts and swim.

Elisa Tumwesigye, the LC III chairperson of Kyabakara sub-county says that Chinese who were exploring gold in the area left the mines open. He says the abandoned mines, which are close to Buhindagyi stream are filled with water when it rains heavily.

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Rubirizi District Resident Commissioner Harriet Nakamya says that incidents of drowning in the district are common. She says that they have lost both young and old people to drowning in crater lakes while fetching water or swimming.

She says that they have so far lost six people to drowning. Martial Tumusiime, the Greater Bushenyi Region Police Spokesperson says that they have commenced investigations. He says the deceased’s bodies have been handed over to their parents after postmortem.

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