The Centre for Trade Policy and Development has observed with concern the involvement of Children and Women in unconducive environments were Gold mining is taking place in Eastern Province.
CTPD Extractives Programmes Officer Isaiah Mbewe made the observation during Data collection for a study themed” Appraising the Gold Mining Sector” that the Centre is undertaking in Lusangazi District of Eastern Province.
Mr. Mbewe noted that although Gold mining is a source of the much needed income for communities in such areas, the Centre is concerned that women are involved in the processing and waste disposal of this Mineral resource thereby exposing them to harmful chemicals which have severe consequences on their health.
He stressed that in trying to make a living out of Mining, Women often suffer domestic violence and are forced into prostitution as is the case in one of the Mining sites that the Centre visited in Lusangazi District of Eastern Province.
Mr. Mbewe also expressed concern that Children are working in the unconditional worst forms of Child Labour which include digging and engaging in illicit activities such as prostitution and abuse of drugs.
He has since reiterated CTPD’s call on government to formalize the sector because it plays a critical role in the creation of jobs.
In a statement issued by Information and Communication Specialist Mwaka Nyimbiri, Mr Mbewe also commended the intention by government through ZCCM-IH to formalize the Artisanal Gold Mining with the objective of curbing illegal Mining.