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Mining Community in Sinazongwe Calls for Government Support, Seeks Relocation to Safer Ground for Safety Concerns

Residents of Nkandabbwe in the Sinazeze area of Sinazongwe District, Southern Province, find themselves living in fear as visible cracks threaten the safety of their villages, attributed to underground mining activities near Collum Coal Mine.

According to Richard Mangunje of Siamajele Area, at least four villages—Siamajele, Siabunyangu, Chiyabi, and Chamukwapulo—are experiencing shaking houses due to the impact of mining activities.

Douglas Mudenda of Mazyamuna Village expressed the community’s willingness to relocate if fairly compensated, stressing the need for the mine to provide alternative land and essential amenities such as schools, clinics, and water sources.

However, frustration mounts among residents like Lazarus Siabulowa and Arnold Maiya, who highlight the lack of dialogue between the government, the mine, and affected communities.

Despite previous commitments from the mine to compensate affected households, the amounts fell short due to what was perceived as inadequate support from the government.

Even Headman Shikonkomani, whose village lies outside the immediate mining area, voices concerns over restricted access to essential services due to road closures within the mining zone.

Maggie Mwape, Executive Director of the Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ), underscores the urgency of the situation, citing ongoing conflicts between communities and the mine since 2018.

With over 600 households still residing in the hazardous area, CEJ advocates for adequate compensation and relocation to ensure the safety and well-being of affected residents.

Ms. Mwape emphasizes the need for government intervention to sensitize stakeholders on compensation valuation formulas and, if necessary, amend laws to ensure fair compensation for affected communities.

She stresses that with proper compensation, residents can seek alternative land and resume their daily lives away from the risks posed by mining activities.

The plea from the mining community underscores the pressing need for collaborative action to address safety concerns and ensure the welfare of affected residents in Sinazongwe.

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