Wild Wide Care for Nature Executive Director Nsama Kearns has bemoaned the low levels of adherence to laws that govern the operations of mines in Luapula Province.
Mrs Kearns says what is more saddening is that mines in the province have been left to operate without following laws, a situation she said if left unchecked has the potential to bring social problems that will be difficult to control.
“It is unacceptable that people can continue to die in mines across the province in circumstances that can be prevented without taking any action against mine owners, “says Mrs Kearns.
ZANIS reports that speaking in the wake of a mine accident in which one person was buried alive in Mantanda area, Mrs Kearns says there is need for mine owners to heed to mine safety laws.
She observed that mine owners are using people without any consideration of their safety including children in mining manganese and that if left unchecked there will be a breakdown of the law in mines.
The Executive Director says there is need to find a way of ensuring that mine owners follow laws that govern not only mines but labour too that will ensure that there is sanity in mines.
Mrs Kearns, who is also Luapula Province Nongovernmental organization Council Chairperson, revealed according to a recent survey conducted in schools, it was learnt classes from as low as grade three to seven, only nine out of 45 pupils in a class were consistent in attending classes while the rest miss classes for manganese mining.
She has since called on the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development to quickly implement the directive by Republican President Edgar Lungu to take stock of all undeveloped mines saying doing so will also ensure mines have genuine operators.
She added that the current situation in the province does not favour the province in any way and as it does not only deprive the province of revenue from mines, but also creating a social problem in many communities resulting from children not going to school.
Following the first ever Investment exposition in the area, Luapula province has experienced multiple mining activities where locals are mostly engaged in manganese mining without protective gear.