SARW Proposes New Model for Mining Community Engagement

… As it unveiled a groundbreaking approach to tackle longstanding challenges faced by mining communities in Southern Africa an Initiative that will Enhance Mining Governance

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka,Zambia24 (24-06-2024) – In a landmark initiative, the Southern African Resource Watch (SARW) launched a significant project to enhance mining governance across Southern Africa.

The event, attended by notable figures from Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and various organizations, aims to promote sustainable development in the region’s mining sector.

Tobious Musonda, Director of Planning and Information in the Ministry of Mining, emphasized the industry’s crucial role in driving socio-economic progress.

He highlighted Southern Africa’s prominence in global cobalt and diamond production, contributing substantially to national incomes and employment levels.

Musonda underscored the importance of responsible mining practices, citing the Mining Protocol established in 2000.

“The protocol focuses on improving living standards, environmental stewardship, and governance standards,” he said.

“The initiative features robust grievance mechanisms designed to maintain positive relationships between mining companies and local communities,” added.

Musonda stressed the importance of transparency and community engagement in addressing concerns and ensuring compliance with legal frameworks.

He acknowledged the sector’s environmental challenges, calling for stringent policies and proactive community involvement to mitigate impacts effectively.

Claudial Kabemba, Executive Director at Southern Africa Resource Watch, emphasized the need to empower communities to lead in resolving disputes arising from mining activities.

He highlighted successful instances of collaborative environmental concern resolution and stressed the importance of transparent dialogue and community-led initiatives.

Kabemba called for enhanced governmental oversight of mining operations, suggesting strengthened ministry capacities and potential independent bodies to monitor industry practices.

The proposed model aims to redefine the relationship between mining companies and communities, enhancing socio-economic outcomes in mining regions.

The initiative represents a significant stride towards enhancing governance and sustainability in Southern Africa’s mining sector, promising to shape future policies and practices to benefit all stakeholders.

Speaking earlier Longe Highlights Community-Company Conflicts in Parliamentary Engagement, emphasizing the role of parliamentary oversight in addressing community-company conflicts.

Longe highlighted the emotional and sensitive nature of these discussions, stressing the need for collaborative efforts and input from parliamentary offices.

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