Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
About 200 people from a Chakari mine compound were recently admitted in hospital due to suspected typhoid attributed to poor living and hygienic conditions. Residents at the mine compound said they are living under squalid conditions which expose them to water-borne diseases. During the month of June, at least two people died of suspected typhoid owing to poor sanitary facilities.

Residents at what was formerly Dalny Mine, later Falcon Gold and now Rio Zim are living under squalid conditions. They alleged that the new mine owners are bringing in new staff to occupy the houses they are living in, resulting in them sharing. As a result, at Chakari Primary school, six teachers are sharing one house with the headmistress. The two male and four female teachers use curtains to partition the house while the situation is also similar for several other houses.

Said a source: “There is overcrowding as more people are being brought in by the new owners. The situation is deplorable and a recipe for disaster.”

Some of the people in the houses were not paid their dues on promises that they would be paid by the new owners. However, that has not materialised and the workers are crying foul saying people who do the same work as them are being brought from outside. Owing to the shortage of staff accommodation some teachers are commuting from Kadoma where they pay $4 everyday. The water infrastructure has not been revamped for nearly 40 years and is now believed to be the source of some of the health problems. Sanyati district administrator Mr Amigo Mhlanga confirmed the situation at the mine adding that engagement with the company is ongoing.

“We have received such reports and we have tried to find out the situation on the ground. Engagement with the company is ongoing and we hope a solution will be found soon,” said Mr Mhlanga.

There have also been complaints over blasting close to homes resulting in some roofing materials developing cracks. The situation is similar with what is occurring at Eiffel Flats mine where blasting is done close to houses in the compound and at undesignated times. Recently, a stone fell on a house about 400m from the blasting site. Blasting should be done up to 3pm, but residents in the two areas said it is being done as late as 5pm.

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