By ROGERS KALERO
MOPANI Copper Mines (MCM) should quickly fill up a sink hole in Chamboli township in Kitwe to curb illegal mining, Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe has said.
Mr Mwakalombe said the sink hole was a death trap and must quickly be buried to avoid any calamity.
The Minister noted that the illegal mining activities currently being carried out were threatening the lives of the illegal miners and other people as the sinkhole could collapse anytime.
He was speaking when he inspected the sink hole where illegal miners were conducting their mining activities without any regard to safety and health
‘’MCM is planning to fill up this sink hole before a disaster happens. They want to fill it up because it a death trap, it is a disaster in waiting. So before people’s lives are lost here, Mopani must fill it up
“We don’t want to lose people through illegal activities at this sink hole. The health and safety of the youths at the Chamboli sinkhole are not to an expected standard ,there is need to ensure we put up safe precautions to avoid calamities,’’ he said.
Mr Mwakalombe said there would be need to put up a fence and other urgent measures to keep people away from the area.
Meanwhile, Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu said MCM informed his office on the intention to bury the hole.
Mr Mpundu said the mining firm had been put under pressure by Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) after noticing the current happenings at the site.
‘’MCM is concerned with the ongoing illegal mining activities and the possible occurrence of a disaster if left unattended to,’’ Mr Mpundu said.