Chinese-led Kamativi Mining Company (KMC) through an outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative has brought life to the ghost town of Kamativi which had fallen into the abyss of economic and social collapse.
The closure of Kamativi Tin Mine in early 1994 saw one of the country’s promising towns deteriorate into a forgotten community with most buildings left to dilapidate to ruins. The closure of the Kamativi mine saw electricity lines being stolen plunging the community into darkness, and water becoming a major challenge among other basic human needs. People in the town resorted to drinking unsafe water from a nearby dam which they shared with animals.
To solve water problems, initially, KMC brought a Water bowser to supply water to the community and police station. However, as of late, it has installed two solar power boreholes with 5000l tanks which are supplying clean and safe water to the community. KMC is also planning to install more boreholes for the community to have enough water.
KMC has also continuously donated diesel to the clinic and police station to help with transportation in emergency times. The miner has also bought vehicle tyres for both the clinic ambulance and police vehicle. The mine has also donated lithium batteries to the clinic to enable power in the clinic.
Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe St Patrick’s Clinic Sister in Charge Annacletah Ndlovu said she was grateful for the help they were getting from KMC which has seen the clinic successfully carrying out its Polio vaccination campaign to a 66 km radius area around Kamativi using fuel provided for by KMC together with the brand new tyres.
“We received lithium batteries for our solar power from Kamativi Mining Company, and they are very helpful in terms of power supply. We are so grateful and we wish to have more. We have also been timeously receiving fuel for our ambulance and recently they donated two wheels for our vehicles. The fuel they give to us helped significantly during our Polio vaccination campaign. They also promise to put electricity here, if this place is electrified our mortuary will function well,” Sister Ndlovu said.
Kamativi Residents Association Secretary General Mathius Sibanda commended KMC for bringing employment to the mining town saying it is a step in the right direction. He said, once the lithium mining company reaches full production, with over 1200 people to be employed, the town’s GDP will also increase.
“As you saw, we visited where electricity lines are being constructed at that site. Our children are already getting employed despite the mine not yet being in production. The contractor for diamond drilling has also employed youth from our community. They have also promised to employ 1200 people from within this community and for that we are grateful. We had serious water challenges which exposed the community to water bone diseases that have now been eradicated with the introduction of boreholes and on behalf of the residents I would like to say we are proud to have KMC in our community,” Mathius Sibanda said.
The headmistress at Kamativi Primary School Mrs Anna Mutikani thanked KMC for bringing sanity to her school saying the borehole that was drilled by the mining firm ensured that the children at the school have clean toilets and access to clean water to drink as well as a place to wash their hands. She also expressed happiness that social activities had returned to the school after KMC donated football kits and soccer balls.
“KMC drilled a borehole for us and powered it with solar. We used to go to the next school to fetch water which we would not get at times. Even when we did get the water it was far from enough to drink, clean toilets and sanitary uses. The company is also in the process of installing electricity here which will go a long way in helping our school in this information society era. They even sponsored balls and football kits. KMC also promised to put a roof on some of our classrooms that were blown away. They have really transformed our lives and we are thankful for having them in our community” she said.
Clarification of rumours of mine houses
While it is true that indeed, KMC has brought life to the dying Kamativi town, rumours that some families will be evicted from mine houses still hang over. KMC’s Project Manager Turkey Liang clarified the issue to Mining Zimbabwe.
“We are here to invest and develop the mine, and we are also committed to uplifting and improving our community. We will not force people out of their houses. The mine will renovate the empty houses for future employees after consultations and agreements with ZMDC and the local community. The company prefers to build new houses rather than evict residents from the mine houses to accommodate its workers when the need for more houses arises. I want to emphasize that the development of mine is to benefit the community and improve lives. Proper communications and mutually satisfactory arrangements will be in order once there is a need to relocate people due to mining and production, for example, people staying in the mining area,” Liang said.