By Nyasha Dube.
Mineworkers’ unions say more needs to be done to ensure safety in mining operations and quick responses to mine related disasters.
This comes at a time when the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has announced that the body of Andrea Malunga, who was trapped together with three others at the Eskoveni mine disaster in Esigodini, Matebeleland South province recently, will not be retrieved because it is no longer safe to do so.
The three bodies of Dumisani Sibanda, Tapiwa Moyo and Ashton Swilinga were retrieved and await burial.
Speaking to Great Dyke News24, Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers’ Union (ZIDAMWU) secretary-general Justice Chinhema said mines are no longer safe, and this is putting lives at risk.
Chinhema also challenged the mines ministry and other responsible authorities to ensure that mining operations are carried out in a safe environment to avoid continued loss of life.
“Mines are no longer safe and we continue to engage the authorities so that they address this challenge,” said Chinhema.
Chinhema also called for environmental regulatory bodies to thoroughly inspect mining sites before they are allocated to individuals or mining firms.
” Workers do not know their rights to safety and the rightful procedures to follow when a disaster occurs,” said Chinhema.
He also added that employers must adhere to environmental regulations to avoid unnecessary disasters.
Mine related accidents have been on the rise in the country, with incidents such as the Eldorado mine collapse and Battlefields disaster claiming many lives and underscoring the need to improve safety in artisanal and small scale mining.