The Norwegian Church Aid of Malawi act alliance (NCA) says assisting vulnerable people in cross-cutting issues affecting them remains one of its core works in its drive to improve and sustain the livelihoods of communities.
The call was made during a first ever workshop last weekend for church /mosque General Secretaries across the country which aimed at specifically advocating for fair and win-win situation in mining industry in Malawi.
Speaking when he opened the meeting, Country Representative for NCA Stein Villumstand reaffirmed its commitment to continue supporting people until they migrate from poverty to prosperity. Meanwhile, he recommended journalist for playing a crucial role in disseminating information, and urged them to do more investigative stories in mining sector where several malpractice are happening.
He said: “The seminar was organized to allow GSs to interact, share experience and appreciate some of the initiative faith-based organizations and mining institutions are implementing across the country”.
Villumstand explained that his organization is concerned with the report findings from the mining sector, showing challenges people surrounding mining sites in rural areas are facing; hence, a need to help them.
“We are also promoting environment rehabilitation and protection through afforestation and use of low carbon technologies such as environmental friendly stoves(mbaula), hence reducing effects of climate change in Malawi”.
General Secretory for Episcopal Conference of Malawi Father Henry Saindi attributed challenges in the mining sector to outdate of the laws which are not in favour of the common Malawian now. He therefore, called for a quick review of the Mining Act of 1981 which needs amendment in as far as legislation and advocacy is concerned.
Reacting on the same, GS for Muslim Association of Malawi Osman Karlim condemned the act of some mining industries whom are continuing degradation the environment ranging from soils, vegetation, waters and air and just to mention a few. The development is not only bringing threat to environment but also pose threat to human and animal health hence need to rehabilitate environment which are working in.
NCA conducted a study on impact of mining industry in Kalonga, Ntcheu, Balaka and other few districts, where among others Northern region has registered more cases of ill-treatment of people by mining companies to extent that one person died.