Families of quarry workers who fell off a cliff while carving building stones at Ukuu in Imenti South are calling on the government to assist them settle hospital bills.
According to the family members, their relatives were hospitalized with fractures three weeks ago and bills continued to pile up.
Janice Kangai pointed out that her husband, who is the sole breadwinner, left the house at 7.00am in the morning as he has done for the last 15 years on his way to Ukuu quarry mines. However she received a phone call from a friend explaining that her husband had been involved in an accident.
“I was attending to our livestock. I rushed to the scene but my husband together with his colleagues had been taken to Consolata hospital,” she said adding that though her husband has multiple fractures, he was lucky to survive.
She noted that the family’s meager earnings could not pay the hospital bill which currently stands at Sh123,000.
“Our family earnings are meager, my husband has been a casual worker at the mines, now it will be difficult for him to get a job even after recovery,” she said.
Kangai is calling on well-wishers and the government to assist the family settle the bills.
Imenti South Sub County Police Commander William Maronga said the incident in which four workers fell 40 meter below after a boulder they were working on broke off was reported at the station.
“Two victims died on the way to hospital while two were admitted at Consolata Hospital in Nkubu,” Maronga said.
He said the security committee had severally recommended extra safety measures especially during the rains.
“Most of the accidents occur during the rains when the quarry is slippery and the blocks break off easily. We have also advised the quarry owners to fence off the area to avoid accidents,” the police boss said.
He said lack of safety gear and failure to adhere to safety guidelines by quarry owners and workers have been blamed for recurring accidents.
Mugambi Magambo, a worker at the mines said they use metal bars to cut the blocks before pushing them with levers leaving them at risk of falling off the tall cliffs.
Mugambi pointed out that the quarry workers scaled the high cliffs using makeshift wooden ladders and work at the edge of cliffs.