mining equipment.jpgThe Nekabandama community in Hwange has castigated KW Mining for failing to resuscitate Deka road, which is used by its heavy trucks to ferry coal from the mine to the nearby railway station.

Nekabandama Ward 9 community leader, Cde James Phiri said it is sad that KW Mining is currently doing nothing to resuscitate the road which has been so badly damaged that part of it does not show signs that it was fully tarred in the past few months.

He further expressed concern that the stock piles of coal at the loading zone as well as the dumping area next to the railway line are too close to the residential areas, posing a health hazard, adding that acid water from the mine will lead to loss of livestock and aquatic life.

Environmental Management Agency Provincial Manager for Matabeleland North, Mrs. Chipo Mpofu-Zuze said her organisation will investigate the matter and take the necessary action and called for a sound national policy that addresses acid mine drainage, compromised air quality and loss of human life.

When the ZBC News crew visited KW Mining premises along Deka Road, it was revealed that mining activities are being carried out near boreholes, raising fears on the safety of that water for domestic consumption.

The General Foreman at the mine who refused to speak on camera, Mr. Kola de Vries questioned why the ZBC News crew had come to the mine saying he does not want to be seen by South African police on television.

He later revealed that the company uses acid water from the mine to suppress dust at the railway loading zone, raising fears that acid levels might rise in the affected areas.

On the issue of repairing the road, Mr. de Vries said he is not the manager and refused to shed light on measures being taken by his organisation to repair the road.

The ZBC News crew also visited the nearby Deka River which is believed to be getting heavily polluted by the operations of the mine.

Research reveals that respiratory diseases and swelling of the stomach have been linked to coal mining activities where little attention is given to safety, health and environmental issues.

This development comes just a few days after country joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Environment Day in which environmentalists called for programmes that work towards protecting and restoring the world’s natural heritage.