Information received this evening is that over 50 families are affected by underground mining in Chamukwapulo area, Nkandabwe at Sinazeze, Sinazongwe District.

We appeal to government through the local administration that affected households be moved immediately to safer areas.
As Environmentalists that have been working in Sinazongwe, we feel that the Zambian Government has a crucial responsibility to safeguard the well-being of people living in mining communities, particularly when it comes to cracking mining surfaces. Here are some reasons why such protection is essential:

Health and Safety: Mining activities can lead to unstable ground conditions, including surface cracks. These cracks pose serious risks to the safety and health of residents. People living near mines may experience accidents, injuries, or even fatalities if the ground gives way unexpectedly.
Environmental Impact: Cracking surfaces can result from subsidence, where the ground sinks due to mining activities. This not only affects human safety but also harms the environment. Cracks can disrupt ecosystems, damage infrastructure, and contaminate water sources.
Structural Damage: Cracking surfaces can weaken buildings, roads, and other structures. Homes, schools, and hospitals in mining areas are vulnerable to damage. The government must take measures to prevent structural instability caused by mining-related subsidence.
By: Maggie Mapalo Mwape (Executive Director, Centre for Environment Justice)
Economic Livelihoods: Many people in mining communities rely on agriculture or other livelihoods. Cracking surfaces can disrupt farming, making it difficult for communities to sustain themselves. The government’s protection ensures that economic activities continue without hindrance.
Legal and Ethical Obligations: The Zambian Government has a duty to uphold the rights of its citizens. Protecting people from mining-related hazards, including cracking surfaces, aligns with international human rights standards and ethical principles.
Long-Term Consequences: Neglecting mining-related surface cracks can have lasting consequences. Immediate action is necessary to prevent further damage and protect future generations.
To address these concerns, the Zambian Government should:
Monitor Mining Activities: Regularly assess mining sites for signs of surface cracks and instability.
Enforce Regulations: Ensure that mining companies adhere to safety regulations and environmental standards.

Community Engagement: Involve local communities in decision-making processes related to mining operations.
Rehabilitation: Implement rehabilitation measures to restore affected areas and prevent further cracking.
By prioritizing the safety and well-being of its citizens, the Zambian Government can mitigate the risks associated with cracking mining surfaces and create sustainable mining practices for the future.
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