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Mining company in court over pollution

SEEKING LEGAL REMEDY— Mzedi community members

Community members around Mzedi Hill in Blantyre have taken Chinese quarry mining company Sino Sky Industrial Company Limited to court over noise and air pollution.

The community members also allege that their houses are cracking due to tremors from the company’s rock blasting activities.

The claimants— Richard Maulana, Village Head Mwachande, Kambeya and Moto— have applied for an injunction stopping the company from running its operations until the matter is resolved, a prayer which High Court Judge Jack N’riva is expected to virtually hear today .

A sworn statement in support of the application by Maulidi says operations of the mine pose a serious health risk to people of the area.

“The rock blasting, noise and air pollution have escalated and have resulted in earth movements causing infrastructural concerns to neighbouring structures. A number of houses shake every time there is blasting. Many houses have developed cracks,” the statement reads.

Maulana says the community members have been engaging the company, as well as the company that was operating the mine before Sino Sky, but nothing has happened.

Among other concerns, Maulana says community members have been complaining about the company’s inability to manage runoff water, illegal extension of mining operations, inability to conduct annual environmental inspections as well as failure to undertake corporate social responsibilities.

The sworn statement says the mine is threatening community members’ right to a healthy and clean environment.

Sino Sky Industrial Company Limited lawyer Abison Chitukula confirmed being served with the documents.

He said the matter was, indeed, set for hearing today.

“I have been appointed by Sino Sky as lawyer yes and the hearing is set for tomorrow [today]. We are basically asking the court to dismiss the application for injunction and the whole matter,” he said.

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