Business - Featured - Local - Mining - Top Stories - August 5, 2021

Women miners calls for installation of mobile clinics in mining areas

By Thobekile Khumalo

Women in the mining industry are calling upon the government to install mobile clinics in mining areas to help vaccinate miners and revive the mining sector.

Females miners have not been spared by the covid-19 with most of them failing to remain afloat in business due to challenges brought about by the pandemic and vandalism caused by the machete gangs during the total lockdown period.

Speaking to Jescah Mazivazvose, National Secretary for Women Affairs said that miners in mining towns are ignorant of covid 19 and do not adhere to WHO covid 19 regulations.

“Miners both men and women are ignorant of covid 19, they do not adhere to WHO regulations with most of them not even wearing masks. They think that the pandemic only affects those living in urban areas and they are spared.

“They lack the right knowledge and that is why as female miners we are caling upon the government to visit mining areas and educate people about covid-19 and at the same time bring mobile clinics to vaccinate miners because a large percentage is not vaccinated due to ignorance and the fact that vaccination points are far and need to be decentralised,” she said.

She said that this will help revive the mining sector that has been severely affected by the pandemic and preserve lives that can immensely contribute towards the government achieving its goals.

“Getting miners to vaccinate will ease the way of doing business and preserve lives giving female miners a chance to participate and contribute towards the 2023 vision of making the mining sector a billion dollar industry,” she added.

Mazivazvose said that female miners are of paramount importance in making sure that gold mined goes back to Fidelity.

“When you empower a woman you empower the whole community because we have transparency and integrity meaning we take our gold through Fidelity,” she said.

She added that women in the mining sector continue to face a number of challenges.

“Government should consider allocation of claims to women so that we can have our own space to work in without disturbances. Working in male owned claims is very difficult looking at the percentage we get after all the hard work we would have put in.

“I heard that EPOs have now been reserved for artisinal miners, if so my hope is that the government would consider women first so that at least they have their own claims,” she said.

However, she commended the government and ZMF for trying to make the mining sector a bearable place for women in the mining industry.

“I would love to thank our government for the effort they are putting in the process of helping women in the mining industry. RBZ loans provided by the government have been helpful to a number of women though we are asking that they ease the terms to accessing those loans. I also want to thank ZMF for doing a good job for miners, women included and President Henrietta Rushwaya for making sure that women in the mining sector are catered for, loans coming through from different banks, Women’s bank offering equipment to female miners and I am one of the beneficiaries who was given a compressor,” she added.

Women in the mining sector have always been faced with challenges in trying to remain relevant the male dominated industry for a longtime, with most of them being considered as incapable of doing what men in the mining industry are doing.

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