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Hwange Colliery Company Limited Denies Burning Fossils, Causing Air Pollution

Hwange Colliery Company (HCCL) has distances itself from burning fossil fuels that causes air pollution which has been causing respiratory diseases in several villages close to mining areas, as the effects of climate change take their toll.

Dr Beauty Mutombe, HCCL cooperations manager told this publication that the villagers who are raising these allegations are misguided.
“It is totally wrong to say that the colliery is causing all the pollutions.. Our battery died in 2010 and we are not processing coal since then,” said Dr Mutombe.

This comes after villagers Madumaisa village number 2, in Hwange pointed fingers at several mining companies including the HCCL.

However,Dr Mutombe rather turned the guilty tables against other mining companies which are also processing coal, like a Chinese owned South mining company.

Villagers who spoke to this publication during an investigation with support from the Voluntary Media Council Zimbabwe (VMCZ) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation FNF has revealed that villagers have been left to deal with the devastating effects of the resource’s exploitation.

“The doctors need money but we cannot afford it. We do not have government hospitals here; we have private clinics and they cost a fortune. We are opting for steaming to treat this flue but it never ends,” says Petronella Moyo, a villager.

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Moyo added that sometimes the HCCL command pour waitron the ground to settle the dust a little.

Greater Hwange Resident Trust coordinator and an environmentalist, Fidelis Chima says many people in the community are suffering from chronic diseases because of the pollution.
He said HCCL only takes care of its employees leaving out the rest of the community which is also affected by the air pollution.

Piles of coke are seen few metres from the houses, creating artificial hills that produce dust which is a health hazard. Coke is a grey, hard, and coal-based fuel with a high carbon content. It is made through heating coal in the absence of air.

Some villagers are making a living through selling that coke which they find in the dumps. They pack it in huge bags and get paid USD$3 per bag.

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Journalist based in Harare

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