Thursday, May 30, 2024

If I were President I would have sent Konkola mine engineers to help trapped Thai boys- Sinkamba


12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand (Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page via AP, File)

Green party president, Peter Sinkamba has said his thoughts and prayers are with the trapped Thai boys and their families. “May the Lord have mercy on the young souls,” he said.

Mr Sinkamba said how he wished he was President of the Republic of Zambia because he would have dispatched Zambia’s mining engineers from KCM in Chililabombwe, the wettest underground mine in the world to help with rescue efforts. The quantity of underground water handled at Konkola Mine by far exceeds that which is being pumped out at the cave where the boys are trapped.

He said experience of our engineers at Konkola mine would have made a difference in the remaining days before the mansoon rains begins next week.

Meanwhile FIFA has invited the boys trapped in a cave in Thailand to the World Cup Final if they get rescued before then. Fifa has sent a letter to the president of the Football Association of Thailand offering its “deepest sympathies and support” to the families of young soccer players and their coach trapped in cave in the country’s north.

The letter signed by Fifa President Gianni Infantino also says the organisation would like to invite the youngsters and their coach to the World Cup final in Russia, should they be rescued in time and are healthy enough to travel.

The letter says the team’s appearance at the final would “undoubtedly be a wonderful moment of communion and celebration.”

The boys have asked the Navy Seals taking care of them in the cave for details about what has happened in the World Cup since they got trapped June 23.


    • This is one of those few times when Sinkamba chats bollocks.

      Never get high on your own supply Sir!!!

    • Sinkamba mwaume. Who knew Konkola was the wettest mine in world? By just making that noise that ZAMBIANS are on way to rescue…. That’s famous enough for Edgar to early a rise on presidential ranking and clear up some corruption cases accumulating.

    • Why can’t Zambians be supportive of each other? None of the rescue teams in Thailand have ever been in a similar situation before.It is a novel situation with many brain storming session. The divers clearly said they don’t usually go about diving in muddy water with poor visibility.So maybe our Konkola engineers can give guidance in pumping out the water faster.If the machinery needed is too large no worries the international community can fund it. We should stop looking down on everything Zambian.God gave us brains too. The Israelis have provided a new type of radio communication to the rescue effort.This is an opportunity to help man kind with the different God given expertise

    • Croatia’s national soccer team, which is competing in the ongoing World Cup, has offered its “support and love” to the young Thai soccer team trapped in a cave. The statement issued Friday said: “We are impressed with the courage and strength the young boys and their coach have shown despite the scary circumstances they find themselves in.”

      It added: “Such situations are larger than sport, but their sport spirits will give them strength to face this challenge.” It finished with the message: “To our soccer family in Thailand, we wish to express our support and love, and we hope the boys and their coach will be together soon with their families.”

      The boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23.

    • Engineers at work: Meanwhile, South African born SpaceX bilionaire Elon Musk says he is sending engineers from two of his companies to Thailand to see if they can help bring out the members of a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave. Musk tweeted the announcement after another Twitter user pleaded for him to help the 12 boys and their coach, who have been underground for almost two weeks.

      In a series of tweets, Musk said his Boring Co, which digs tunnels for advanced transport systems, has advanced ground penetrating radar, and brainstormed that an air tunnel constructed with soft tubing like a Bouncy Castle could provide flexible passage out.He said engineers from his Boring Co and SpaceX companies needed to be on site to appreciate the complexities of evacuation. There has been…

    • All of you here are just talking bulls!t including sinkamba.
      If I was president I was going to ask katele kalumba tobuse his TV to see where the kids are .
      Then instruct the dean in the school of witchcraft to go get them!
      Case closed!

    • This is where Africans show poor judgement. Do you think Trump went to the Navy seals and asked them to help? No! The institution or the engineers themselves have to lobby themselves to go and help, it doesn’t have to take the president to use executive powers but rather the engineers have to be proactive. Most Africans fail because they always wait for instructions.

  1. ibange likali. how do you turn a tragedy into a practical lesson. if you want to train engineers in cave engineering take them to school. The tragedy in Thailand is not a classroom and its not an open invitation.KCM engineers can only refer to manuscripts from the engineers and divers if and when they decide to tabulate how the accomplished the mission

    • dont just get high on sinkamba’s guchi @chindo and @intigo without thinking. what sinkamba is trying to say is that konkola miners deal with water every second 24/7 hence they will probably find a solution to the problem of pumping out water from the cave. if they can pump out water from levels such as 5570m level what can stop them from pumping water from 20m level cave and prevent the monsoon water from getting in. dont smoke ganga alone atleast invite abena@nubian

    • There are rescue teams in KCM that Sinkamba is referring to…..they under go serious training like underwater search and rescue and diving which may be useful in this case.

    • Petros: Yes we have proto rescue teams at KCM that are among the best in the world…..we deal with more sophicated and probably more dangerous situations than the on-going operations. It seems majority of Zambians dont know our emergency rescue capabilities. Perhaps it is high time that KCM and other mining companies started show-casing their emergency response capabilities to shame critics

  2. @Abazana Chindo. Dont expose your ignorance.

    This is not about cave engineering. It is about underground water engineering. Underground water engineering is the same be it in a mine or cave.

    Mr. Sinkamba is right. We the engineers at KCM can make a difference. We have vast experience in this field. Cameroon has sent a team. We have more experience than Cameroon in underground water engineering

    • You are lying my fellow engineer from Konkola. Please stop joking Mr. Sinkamba.
      At Konkola we manage to pump that much water using established infrastructure of Pump Chambers starting from shaft bottom and other cascade of pump chambers at 3400L, 3240, 1210 etc. There is permanent 21″ columns and multi-stage sultzer pumps powered by 3.3kv motors like you have never seen before.

      We don’t dive into water at Konkola.
      The waste you can talk about is managing the settlers and water-tight doors especially during major power outage. So Mr. Engineer, don’t lie.

      Even Irrigation Engineers from Zambia Sugar would do a much better job on this rescue effort.
      Don’t politicize this tragedy because its very serious. I almost cried this morning hearing the BBC news this morning that the…

    • @Ken, as an engineer working on the pumping section, our job is more complex than the rescue operation. Of course there is some diving involved, but it is not every body involved in the rescue operation that has dive. The cave formation has natural chambers, while at KCM we have engineered chambers. However, pumping water from an engineered structure and a natural structure is the same. In fact, the operations at the rescue site is less risky because there are potential rockfalls.

  3. I agree with sinkamba. Kcm, mopani and other mines pump water from underground as deep as 3000m. Maybe Zambian engineers may ve a solution. I ve worked underground and i agree with him.

  4. I have worked underground as well but what most of you are forgetting is how long is it going to take you to install pumps with a big flow to pump out the water coming from the monsoon rains as well as the water that is already there. Besides, for you to effectively pump out the water you make dams as is the case underground but how long will it take you in this situation?? In case you didn’t know, the Thais are already pumping out water from the caves. Look at the big picture.

    • @Habeenzu……Iam not sure which mine you worked at. At KCM, we have emergency systems in place. In case of failure of failure of existing system we have an emergency plan to manage the water without endangering the miners. We have a sound Plan B to take care of the situation. That is part of our Emergency Plan and Procedure….to install and activate an emergency pumping system. Given an opportunity to help, it is that sort of emergency system we would have worked with in the on-going rescue operation. Mind you, we have thousands of miners working underground every day, and we manage to bring them safely without a a water risk

    • I understand as Engineers you are trying to be helpful but I think you have not been listening properly to the details of whats going on

      The issue of pumping out the water has been discussed already and discarded. Pumping is already going on and fields have already been flooded due this pumped water. And that’s where you want to go and show us your water pumping skills!!!

      That’s not the issue. Other people pump the whole city of sea water eg when we had Katrina in the USA

      So the issue is not just water pumping there are other issues involved.

      Good thing you were not sent there you were just going to embarrass us with your lack of proper engineering attention and one track problem solving minds!!!

      By the way I am an engineer also. So I know what I am talking about

  5. It’s a wish he can only cherish with the least likelihood of ever being actualised. The US Navy Seals are there and they are more than equal to the task. If President Lungu were to do that, the same Sinkamba would laugh at him and condemn him for wasting tax payers’ money when the SEALS with their superior training are already in action. Sinkamba be serious for once.

  6. Sinkamba …If you smoke you better STOP but if you don’t you better START.Have asked yourself why KCM closed Konkola Deep Mine? It was a headache for them. To keep the mining areas dry, KCM pumped up to 450 million litres of water to the surface every day – the equivalent of 180 Olympic-sized swimming pools.The Tham Luang cave system is a sprawling complex beneath the Nang Non Mountain marking the border between Thailand and Myanmar to the north. Spanning roughly three miles as the crow flies, a system of narrow corridors winds sharply up and down, connecting larger chambers of limestone dripping with stalactites. Rescue alternatives include teaching the boys to dive and then swim out, a highly risky venture, remaining in the cave for months until the wet season ends and flood waters…

    • CONT’D…
      Rescue alternatives include teaching the boys to dive and then swim out, a highly risky venture, remaining in the cave for months until the wet season ends and flood waters recede, or drilling a shaft into the cave from the forest above. And you think KCM engineers can manage that?

  7. President Sinkamba is more than right. At Konkola Mine we pump out about 450 million litres of water from 3,000 meters underground to the surface every day. Since rescue operations started in Thailand five days ago, they pumped out only 31 million litres. This is nothing compared to what we pump out daily….actually, it is less than a tenth of what we pump out daily… so we could have made a very big difference

    • @The Water Engineers @ KCM ; what you are forgetting is you have pump chambers and the pumps have the capacity to pump out that amount of water. Besides, how long did it take Anglo America to install and commission those pumps, upgrade the capacity to reach were they are now? Do you expect the Thais to do that in a few days????

    • @Habeenzu…What has happened in Thailand is an emergency situation. At KCM we have emergency systems in place which we install in case of emergency situtations. We have capacity in that regard and that is why I am supporting Mr. Sinkamba. We could have made a difference

    • CONT”D..
      That translates 661 million litters of water a day and they are using make shift equipment unlike the planned installed pumps @ KCM..So compare 340 ml to 661 ml.And from your write-up you seem to be an operator who dreams to be an engineer one day but vinavuta chabe…Good luck

  8. Oh Sinkamba today one of the best divers has just died of suffocation trying to rescue the trapped pupils. Konkola maybe the wettest mine in the world but those pupils are not trapped in a Konkola like setup. Please reduce on ganja before you spoil the good suggestions you’ve been offering in the recent past.

    • @Jay Jay……President Sinkamba need not be an engineer to know that there are engineers like me at KCM managing water in the wettest underground mine in the world. He says if he were in charge of this country, he would have dispatched engineer like me to go and assist. During emergencies, KCM employees have done several jobs for government without being paid by government. How many lives have we saved on the Copperbelt through our emergency services when road accidents and fires? We save lives without being paid by Government….even in this situation, if Government asked KCM to intervene on behalf of Zambia, we can readily go and do a good job and as usual, KCM will pay our salaries. So, your payment argument is neither here nor there

    • Jay Jay is out of depth on this one. KCM Engineer – Well done for outwitting him and putting him in his place. He shouldn’t comment on topics he does not understand.

    • The Water Engineers @ KCM – As much as I applaud on your emergency rescue work in Zambia …I doubt you have the experience to undertake a job of this magnitude in highly pourous limestone cave. …infact you don’t need an Engineer for that job the Navy seals can do that job as the cave is flooded and the kids simply need to taught how to dive.

  9. Nostradamus, please do not lump your ignorance of not knowing that Zambia has had the wettest mines in the world and that these mines have been managed by Zambian Engineers on everybody. You should just say you did not know!
    Do you even know that part of the core team of engineers when building the Euro Tunnel had Zambian Engineers from ZCCM?
    President Sinkamba’s statement while noble, should have been that as President “He would have made a request to KCM to consider” sending some of its engineers to help in the rescue. KCM is a private company and can’t just be ordered to disrupt its operation for political reasons!!!!

  10. some bloggers here are high on something looking at the way the are arguing, anyway ebu zambian you know it all just like hh. you dont believe in yourselves unless one is white or very rich.


  12. KCM should fly the big pump machines or buy new pumps to instal in record time to pump the “wettest cave in the world” out of water. Well tried Mr. Sinkamba, tho’!

  13. As an engineer I know how long it would take to source and install huge dewatering pumps and instal all the connecting pipes and electricity supply. Evenue Thai engineers can do that, but time may not be on their side hence looking at quick solutions.

  14. I don’t agree with Sinkamba.At konkola there is a pump level with pumps and i guess it took them time to complete the set up.However,Thailand issue is different , you need to think and act fast so to rescue the boys.This is not about pump men or pump chambers

  15. Yaba. I think sometimes Zambians want to here themselves talk. Who do you think in all our mines sunk mining shafts and elevators nge tebasungu. You want to send a kangaroo thirds world team in Konkola engineers against professional divers? Are you kidding me even if you want to earn stupid political mileage. It’s a pity one navy seal diver died helping find these kids and their teacher. Third world *****s, we try to sound very academic and we have nothing to show for. Masters this, Phd that, bunda bwakupanga ichongo. So why have we not created anything to serve mother Africa and why are we using a colonialst’s language? Tell me?

  16. Ichamba chila chita manifest munshila ishapusanapusana, I think this is one of them. These are thr same people who would have been saying Zambia has no money or Our Engieers cannot do rescue in such a different environment, highly porus soils..etc.

  17. Where would he get the money from? Zambia has become a beggar nation due to the unsustainable debt.

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