19 January 2021
Breaking News
Friday, 24 August 2018 10:06

Tempers flare at Mangochi mining indaba

Written by  Kondwani Magombo

Mangochi, August 24, 2018: Tempers flared at a mining indaba in Mangochi on Thursday as chiefs and members of the community expressed their dissatisfaction with the approach authorities were taking in handling illegal mining in the district.

The indaba organized by Natural Resources Justice Network (NRJN) brought together chiefs, religious leaders, residents around the areas where mining is taking place and officials from Mining Department.

According to NRJN Chairperson, Kossam Munthali, the indaba was meant to follow-up on what the authorities had done on illegal mining in Namizimu Forest Reserve and other areas in the district a month after government had threatened to forcibly evacuate all the miners.

Civil society organizations, chiefs and representatives of the community made their presentations on the state of affairs at Namizimu Forest in Makanjira where over 1,500 people from across the continent are scrambling for traces of gold and other minerals at the expense of the environment and health of the people of the areas.

The situation went out of hand when the Director in the Department of Mining, Jaffu Salima made a presentation on the same and updated the meeting on the current situation at Namizimu.

“We took your concerns to the relevant authorities and sensitization was made to the people in Namizimu Forest and surrounding areas that they should vacate on their own by July 21,2018 or risk forceful evacuation,” he said.

“As I speak, everything is in the hands of our security agents that will move in to implement the evacuation anytime as you know, with issues to do with security you don’t lay your plans bare but, surely, the miners will be evacuated,” Salima added.

But Salima’s response did not go down well with the residents and religious leaders in the house who protested, saying the authorities were handling the matter with kid gloves.

“After giving you the two-week ultimatum in July to have the illegal miners thrown out of Namizimu Forest, we didn’t expect that we would be here again talking about the same issue,”  Sheikh Abdullah Kaposa observed.

“We don’t have time for any of your presentations or further meetings, all we want is to see the illegal miners in Namizimu Forest evacuated and if you don’t do it, we are going to do it ourselves, in two weeks time from now,” he charged.

Kaposa’s remarks were echoed by National Vice Chairman for Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM), Sheikh Omar Sulaimana, who observed that the matter had dragged for a long time and that the damage the mining activities had caused was so huge.

He warned that if the authorities continued to dilly-dally on the matter, people from Mangochi would mobilize and march the miners out on their own.

Traditional Authority (TA) Chowe, present during the meeting together with TA Makanjira and other Group Village Heads where the mining is taking place, shared the concerns raised by the religious leaders, saying it was high time the matter was closed once and for all.

The indaba has since given the Director in the Department of Mining to push the authorities for action within two to three weeks.

Other than causing serious environmental degradation, the illegal mining activities in Namizimu Forest are fueling child labour, prostitution and poor sanitation.


FISD the heart of life changing innovations

FISD the heart of life changing innovations

Lilongwe, November 6, 2020: Construction, solar and Irrigation, ground water exploration and drilling, mining, finance for agriculture development are the main five pivotal strategic units FISD has managed to change many lives for the better. “Multitudes of peoplefrom the rural community have all r...

Learning amidst Covid-19

Learning amidst Covid-19

Mchinji, October 28, 2020: Rose is a 16 year old girl in Mangochi in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chimwala. She is quite an ambitious girl, she wants to be a nurse when she completes her studies. Being the first born in a family of three, she is a rose in her family as her mother believe...

Lilongwe communities correcting environmental wrongs

Lilongwe communities correcting environmental wrongs

Lilongwe, October 18, 2020:  Some communities in the country's capital, Lilongwe have realized the folly of wanton cutting down of trees, and are now putting things right. The locals in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Masumbankhunda are paying the price of their actions that have left them m...