On Friday, both online and mainstream media were awash with news that gold had been discovered “by mistake” in Rongo, Migori County by a contractor.
People from within and without Migori County flooded the intersection on a highway that leads to Homa Bay, Kisii, and Migori town with bags and anything that can carry anything, with the hope of going home with gold.
Men, women, and children, young and the elderly turned up and collected mountains of stones that had a yellowish appearance, saying it was gold.
Police officers who had been deployed to control the grounds were left watching helplessly with some opting to join in the collection of some heaps of stones also hoping it was gold.
“We have no idea whether it is gold or any other yellow soil. But it is better to collect them and later find out it is not gold than not collecting and later finding out it was gold,” said Onyango Sospeter, one of the residents who had turned up in Rongo.
Ironically, there is a whole Ministry of Mining in Kenya that has not issued a statement in more than 30 hours since the incident happened. In other countries, the Ministry of Mining would already be at the venue to find out the allegations. But not in Kenya.
There is high chance that what has been discovered in Rongo is not gold because for the following reasons:
One: they were found very close to the surface. If it was gold, people who have lived in those areas for ages would have come me across the gold while digging waterholes and pit latrines.
Two: the stones are huge and soft, becoming mad when placed in water. It is rare to get such huge stones in one place as gold.