A 13-year-old boy has drowned while swimming in an illegal sand quarry filled with rain water in Chingola’s Kankoko area.
And Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Protection Wilbur Simuusa, who was in Chingola when the incident happened on Friday, has expressed sadness over the loss of life.
The incident happened when the deceased identified as Joshua Sacheng’a, a Grade 8 pupil of Nakatindi Basic School, in the company of two friends Rodgers Musonda and Mathews Kaoma attempted to swim in the quarry.
A Sunday Mail team that rushed to the scene found Chingola Fire Brigade officers searching for the body in the quarry.
Rodgers explained that it was during Joshua’s second attempt to swim in the pit that he drowned.
“The first attempt Joshua managed to swim, but he later asked us to leave him alone so he could swim for the second time. We just saw him drowning and an elderly person who attempted to rescue him failed,” he said.
And Mr Simuusa said illegal sand mining is becoming an environmental concern in the country.
“As Government we regret the death of the pupil, it is high time we started taking action on illegal quarries, it is not only a danger to life, but to the environment as well,” he said.
Mr Simuusa said government will come up with regulation in the mining of sand in the country.
Chingola town clerk George Mulenga said illegal quarrying left trenches that had now become death traps.
Mr Mulenga said the council will deal with unscrupulous people mining sand illegally.