Despite ranked among the five poorest nations in the world, Malawi government continues not to take its extractive industry with the seriousness it requires
There continues to be a filtration of illegal gold miners from Mozambique, Tanzania and China who have taken advantage of the porous boarder control to engage in illegal gold mining activities in Mangochi district and the outskirts of the capital city, Lilongwe.
Some individuals have created a fortune after selling their gold which is fetching $34/gram (Mk26 500.00) which has proven to be a lifeline to many poorest families around the illegal mines.
One of the mminer in Lilongwe, Bwezi Nkalima described mining as an activity which has changed life at his household as compared to the time when he was working as a watchman in town.
“I used to work as a watchman, my wages were only from hand to mouth. I was very poor but with this gold mining activity there is a big change to my life, I am able to manage my family very well, now things look promising,” Nkalima said.
In an interview earlier last week, the Director of Mining in the Department of Geological Survey, Jalf Salima described the illegal mining activities taking place in Mangochi and Lilongwe as risky and unacceptable.
“The problem there is that mining activities are taking place without following proper procedures set by government, it is illegal because there has been no any environmental impact assessment conducted hence posing danger to humans and the environment, also as a nation we are losing a lot on our little and scarce resources,” Salima said.
Perennially hit by severe food shortage and erratic hydro electricity power supply, Malawi is struggling to put its economy on the sound footing.
With a vibrant extractive industry Malawi stand a chance to contribute 25% of its total Gross Domestic Products (GDP) which can also change the infrastructure outlook of the country benefiting communities where mining activities are taking place.