A 50-YEAR-OLD man from Marondera miraculously survived a well-collapse that saw him being buried underground for close to five hours.
Collin Kaseke, a renowned well-digger in the farming town was rescued by the fire brigade personnel and residents, who, after a couple of hours, were shocked to retrieve him alive.
Kaseke was rushed to Marondera Provincial Hospital where he was examined, treated and discharged.
When NewsDay arrived at the scene, residents were milling around as the rescue team used buckets to remove earth from the 11m-deep well. Nobody at the scene anticipated Kaseke to survive given the lapse of time.
After being retrieved, Kaseke was muddy and visibly shaken.
Speaking to journalists after being discharged from hospital, Kaseke revealed how he “defeated the angel of death”, through employing survival tactics often associated with her line of trade.
“I made sure that my eyes were not open, but the crucial tool that ensured my survival was the rope that was tied outside. I would pull the rope several times and by so doing it would create some opening from the top that allowed oxygen to penetrate. So after every 10 of so minutes, I would pull the rope to create an opening for oxygen,” he said.
The well-digging expert narrated how he would suck on mud to quench his thirst.
“I was thirsty most of the time. So to deal with it, I would eat mud to quench it and it worked,” he added.
Kaseke also said he felt relieved when he heard some noises of residents and rescue personnel team trying to remove the earth.
“After some time, I was relieved to hear some voices above. I knew the residents were aware of my plight and that something was being done to retrieve me. It gave me strength and I was positive that I was going to make it,” he said.
Kaseke, who is also known as Mudhara Vibes in the high-density suburb of Cherima due to his insatiable love for reggae music said despite escaping death by a whisker, he will not quit his trade.
“I will not quit. Currently, I have three outstanding jobs that need my attention. I am an expert in well-digging and this well that collapsed was done by another person though I am the one who initially dug it,” he said.
Marondera is currently facing massive water shortages due to a ballooning population and massive power cuts leaving residents with no option, but to dig wells at their homes.
The few boreholes drilled in the town are not enough for the ever growing population that depends on water from a pumping system that was installed in 1972.