Home News Marginalised communities of Hwange demand health check ups 

Marginalised communities of Hwange demand health check ups 

by Bustop TV News

By Takudzwa Changadeya


Marginalised communities in Hwange, a small mining town in western Zimbabwe, have petitioned Parliament asking for the review of the Pneumoconiosis Act (Chapter 15:08) to including local residents, that are not employees of coal mines, in medical checks under the Act to determine the impact of coal dust on their health.


The petition, organised by the Greater Whange Residents Trust (GWRT), is addressed to Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda.


According to the residents, several coal mining operations are putting their health, particularly the health of heart and kidneys, at risk without protection from the law, resulting in them being coerced to go to Zambia for medical check ups because hospitals in their locality have no medicines.


In an interview with Bustop TV, Hwange Central MP Daniel Molokele said coal dust is affecting everyone in Hwange, and that most of the polluting mines are Chinese-owned.


“Coal dust affects everyone in Hwange, and most of the companies that are violating Pneumoconiosis Act (Chapter 15:08) are Chinese companies. They violate a lot of laws that protect the environment and residents in Hwange. Recently, Whange Residents Trust (GWRT) petitioned Parliament protesting failure to include Hwange residents under medical check ups beneficiation by the coal mining companies in their district,” he said.


Those who can afford it have resorted to travelling across the country’s border to Zambia for medical check-ups because local hospitals have no facilities.


Elvis Mandera told Bustop TV that: “Those who are financially stable are now commuting to Zambia for medical check ups. The underprivileged ones like me can’t afford it, so we also need to be protected by the law because the dust affects everyone. We also want to be beneficiaries. They should review the act”


Another resident said the dust which emanates from the coal mining activities affects everyone, but they are not protected by the law.


“Some people are now being coerced to go to Zambia for medical care because our health system in Zimbabwe is non-existent,” Andrew Cikerema (Not real name) said.


In the petition, GWRT said locals were not benefiting from their natural resources through medical check ups opportunities yet they are also being affected by the dust


“The town of Hwange is home to over 50 000 residents. These include women and children that are not employed as miners,” the residents submitted.


Related Articles