People from Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda in Mangochi have commended Cement Products Limited (CPL) for fulfilling the pledges it made when it was commissioning its work in the area.
Among others, CPL promised to create a good working environment free from health hazards and to improve quality of life among surrounding communities through provision of social services.
Speaking recently on the sidelines of a community awareness session organised by Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM), a Muslim non-governmental organisation (NGO) whose aim is to sensitise Malawians to land rights issues and how they can actively take part in mining activities, Group Village Head (GVH) Soliati said he is impressed with the positive stance the company has taken in the area.
He said: “When CPL was commissioning mining exploration in this area, it made huge promises. The company said land was a precious asset where people plant crops and raise animals. As such, the company offered to address social needs of the communities. We doubted their promises as some of us thought they were cosmetic. But today, the opposite is true.”
He said CPL has engaged in a lot of development activities in the area in a short period.
Said Soliati: “The company has provided communities with a maize mill, distributed teaching and learning materials to primary schools, donated sewing machines to vulnerable women, created employment and it has constructed a school block of four classrooms. Frankly, CPL has proved the communities’ critics wrong.”
Project officer of QMAM, Biswas Ismael, said his organisation will ensure that communities are aware of their rights on land issues and that they take part in mining activities.
He condemned mining companies that fail to live up to promises they made when embarking on their mining works.
QMAM is implementing a two-year- Tonse Tipindule Project in Mangochi and Balaka with financial help from Tilitonse under the management of Norwegian Church Aid.