By Draxon Maloya
Communities Worries Over Government Priorities
Communities of Kanyika and Chombe in Rumphi District have expressed disappointment with government’s tendency of giving special priorities to foreign investors even when the country’s citizen’s rights are being violated.
This concern was registered when the members of Kanyika Mining Natives Forum (KAMNAF) paid a visit to the communities of Chombe in Rumphi District where mining also takes place.
The communities shared a number of challenges they are facing due to the mining activities which for sometime have been destroying natural resources and their farming fields which have resulted into perennial hunger.
The Advocacy Campaign for Accountable and Transparency Extractive Industry Project Officer at the Church and Society Program in the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, Paul Mvula said that there is a need for the communities to meet and share some of the challenges they are facing.
“The two communities from Kanyika and Chombe had to meet and share lessons, experiences but also challenges as far as mining within their communities are concerned, they have to discuss issues of compensation and land act, and what are the gaps out there particularly the section around the community development agreement,
“it is understandable that the community needs to blame government that they continue not o benefit although there are a number of mining activities taking place in their communities, they continue to cry that government still seem not to address their challenges,” Mvula said.
In his remarks the disciplinary chairperson for KAMNAF, Wales Nkhoma expressed gratitude with the exchange visit which he said created a platform for the two communities to share some of the challenges so as to take the duty bearers responsible.
“We have indeed shared knowledge and now we know that we have the duty to take our grievances to government so that those mining in our areas should follow proper procedures,” Nkhoma said.
Church and Society Program is implementing the project with funding from the Norwegian Church Aid which will run for six month at a tune of K42 million