Leaders of 11 villages surrounding Mwaulambo Coal Mine in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kilupula in Karonga have expressed concern over failure by a mining company to fulfill promises made in an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report to fill up mines after use.
This follows reports by community leaders that the company packed its equipment and left the area without notice.
Speaking during an interview when Malawi News Agency visited the area on Saturday, group village head (GVH) Mwaulambo expressed dismay that the mining company left without filling up the deep mines that were dug during mining.
“When the company came in 2007, they found trees all around this place, but what I am left with now are deep mines that are unsafe for us. These days, there are lots of mosquitoes breeding in the trenches, and we have witnessed a number of children catching malaria while others drown in the deep holes,” he said.
Mwaulambo added that as a community they tried to ask for help from some stakeholders in the district but to no avail.
Last year, the community demonstrated against the company over the same grievances.
Speaking in a separate interview, Karonga district environmental officer Isaac Mtambo expressed surprise that the company left Mwaulambo without filling up the ditches.
“As a department, we know that it was the responsibility of Eland to fill up trenches they made during the time of operation, but if this did not happen, we are mandated to contact the company so that it should fulfil its promises,” he said.
Efforts to talk to the company’s representative proved futile as he could not answer his mobile phone.