Nkandabwe collum mine should compensate the displaced families following cracks from the mine tunnels which brought down their houses around the coal plant, says Sinazongwe Member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene.
He said yesterday that the situation at the mine was worrying as more houses in Nkandabwe village which were close to the mine were likely to collapse due to huge cracks caused by the mine. Mr Siamunene said the only logical thing the mine could do was to ensure that the affected families were sheltered because it was the fault of the mine for allegedly failing to conduct a comprehensive study of the sustainability of the tunnels that were dug underground during its mining activities.
He said the affected families were not only inconvenienced as a result of their removal from their village due to the impending disaster which almost befell them, but also had huge psychological effects on them due to the ordeal they suffered.
Mr Siamunene said the mining company must take responsibility for failing to recognise the effects of its activities on the surrounding village by ensuring that the affected families and those that may found themselves in the same predicament were adequately compensated.
“I am in Sinazongwe right now and we have assessed the situation but I can confirm that the state of affairs here is worrying because other than the families that were relocated, we expect more people to be displaced as a result of the cracks which have continued. This means that more people will be affected by these cracks from the mining firm.
“This is an indication that the mine owners did not do a proper assessment of the impact that those tunnels would create on the locals before starting their operations and so, the only logical things to do is for them to compensate the affected families by ensuring that these people have new houses just like they had, or even better,” Mr. Siamunene said.
He said Government had provided tents to the displaced families to stay in as a permanent solution was awaited.
“We have provided tents to all the families that have been affected but this is only a temporary measure to help the people before a permanent alternative is found for them and we expect the company to come in and do its part because these people are in a desperate situation.
“The families have not just been inconvenienced, but they have also been subjected to psychological trauma and we think the earlier a permanent solution is found, the better,” Mr Siamunene said.
On Thursday last week, about 50 people living close to the mine were relocated to nearby churches where they spent nights before Government provided them with tents for shelter after cracks from the tunnels of the mine knocked down their houses.