22 days have passed since miner Tom Okwatch was last seen

The rescue operation has since stopped.

Tom Okwach, a miner in Bondo is still trapped in rubble, 22 days after collapse

22 days ago, eight gold miners were trapped under a mining shaft in a village in Bondo, Siaya county. Today, on Christmas day, one miner is yet to be rescued, Tom Okwach.

This festive season will not be the same for the 24-year-old's family who were used to spending Christmas day and New Year's day together.

Okwach last communicated with his close allies two weeks ago, hours before they were rescued.

It is believed the young man was alive for several days with his fate not known for now as rescuers fail to locate him.

In a previous report, rescuers had dug three different holes trying to find him only to stop days later.

According to Okwach’s mum they have been camping at the scene for 22 days now with all hope of finding their kin alive gone.

Okwach’s mum, Joyce Ocholla said that rescue operations using tractors has been halted making it extremely hard for them to locate the 24-year-old.

“I lost my first son years ago and Okwach has always been the breadwinner. I hope I will see him alive once again,” said Ocholla.

His sister also said miners who were helping in the rescue have now gone back to their normal duties mining gold again abandoning Okwach’s rescue.

Last week, the rescue mission took a new twist after excavators were withdrawn. According to Bondo Deputy County Commissioner Richard Karani, the machines were picked on Friday.

“We were informed that the owners of the excavators decided to pick them for other uses,” he said.

Siaya County Chief Officer in charge of Governance Joseph Omondi, who visited the site, said the soil at the gold mine was loose and was therefore endangering the lives of rescuers.

“We’re trying to get a winch because the work of the excavator was to open up the ground,” said Omondi.

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