As Gol Launches Operations “Rescue Alive Or Recover Dead”,
-Securities Take Siege Of Gbanipea’s Illegal Gold Mines, Arrest 65, Relocate Residents
As the Government of Liberia intensifies efforts to rescue the several persons unaccounted for in the Goldmines Collapse in the northern Liberia county of Nimba by moving the Incident Command Post set up by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in the town of Gbanipea to the scene of the disaster which is 45 minutes’ walk away from Gbanipea, sixty-five (65) illegal gold miners have been arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police.The newest updates of rescue efforts coordinated by the NDMA in Nimba County reveal that Government security forces comprising the Liberia National Police (LNP), Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have taken siege of the illegal goldmines operated by illegal miners where several persons are still unaccounted for in a loose soil collapse. Sixty-five persons believed to be illegal miners have been arrested and turned over to the police detachment in Tappita City, Nimba County to be processed. Residents of the mines have been evacuated to safe havens where they are being catered to until operations “Rescue Alive or Recovered Dead”. The Liberia National red Cross Society (LNRCS) has begun contact tracing so as to establish the exact information of people missing in the loose soil collapse. The Ministry of health (MOH), National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), WASH Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have begun testing water sources for possible water pollution, assessing livelihoods to ensure the safety of the community and conducting surveillance of a possible outbreak of either air or water borne diseases. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Traditional Council of Liberia have been engaging the chiefs and elders to ensure the operations are smoothly carried out without breaking our cultural norms.
Meanwhile, the complication of the mines is impeding speedy rescue efforts which now has brought the Technical Steering Committee set up by the President to provide supervision of the operations to its “Second Course of Actions” in the “Emergency Response Plan”, that is, by “moving in earth-moving equipment that will open a road from the main highway to the mining site which is an inaccessible site. The purpose for this is to allow an excavator machine to move into the mines so as to speed up the rescue work”.
The NDMA wants sincerely appreciate the President of the Republic of Liberia Amb. Dr. George Manneh Weah for his role played as the “Father” of the land by putting in the available resources to address the crisis and declaring Monday, February 18, 2019 as a “National Day of Mourning” in memory of those who lost their lives in the loose soil collapse. The NDMA also appreciates all of its partners who are involved with this effort. Your work is enormous and shall be remembered by both the living and the dead.
We will update the public as events unfold.