Amid the increasing number of homicides and road accidents, the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) on Thursday urged authorities to solve killings and improve virtually impassable roads in the interior.
“These accidents and murders follow on the heels of several others in various parts of the gold mining area and we as an organisation continue to be very concerned at the ever climbing rates of murders, accidents and violence in interior locations,” the organisation said in a statement.
Two women have been killed in less than one week in mining districts when two ‘bush’ trucks toppled –one on the Barama Road, Bick Hall and the other at Big Creek, North West District. Four persons in all lost their lives in the Buck Hall mishap.
The accident at Big Creek on Tuesday afternoon saw the life of a women miner snuffed out. A woman was among the four persons who were killed at Buck Hall. These deaths are of serious concern to the organisation.
GWMO issued a “clarion call to the government to invest in improving the roads in the interior as every man, woman or child forced to use them are at risk.”
“The roads that miners are forced to traverse are death traps and every time a man or woman chooses to use those roadways they are putting their lives and limbs at risk. As miners we also use those roads regularly and all our members could tell you of the hair-rising experiences they have had as they travel on the roadways,” said the organisation.
On the matter of growing number of crimes in the interior, GWMO also appealed to government to improve the security situation in the mining districts. “Many times because of no police presence in these areas murders go unsolved and grieving families continue to be denied justice.”
The organisation also accused government of sadly failing to re-invest enough from the gold revenue in security for the vast interior. “The relevant authorities do not find it important to put mechanisms in place to protect the men and women who risk their lives to earn a better living.” Gold production expanded by 20.8 percent to 438,645 ounce in 2o12, the highest recorded in the entire history of the gold industry excluding Omai production, according to government
GWMO’s statement was issued the same day that police said that they were investigating the beating to death of 25-year old John Mc Pherson for allegedly stealing a ‘mat’ that is used in the gold recovery process. Miners Robert Hunter and Randy Rafael were killed over the weekend.
Hunter was killed over the weekend at Imbaimadai and the body of Rafael of Kamwatta Village, North West District was found last Saturday in a hammock at ‘Bruck up’ Landing, North West with a gunshot wound to the head.
GWMO vowed to continue championing the cause of all those who work in the interior and pledged no to rest until the government makes tangible moves to provide better security for interior workers.