By Beatrice Hlilokela
Association of Artisanal and Small Scale Miners has urged small scale miners not to
misuse their lockdown exemptions to do things outside mining during the lockdown.
The organization’s Public Relations Officer Dereck Katsande challenged small scale miners to consider working under ‘stay inn’ setups in their mining camps to curb movements that can cause the spread of the deadly Covid-19 .
“We are on the ground helping miners to continue their mining operations during this lockdown period.
“We are still going on with our health initiatives so that we can achieve more that through organized mining.
“They need to be adhering to the curfew time in also adhering to the Covid-19 regulations that is putting on a mask and maintaining social distancing including sanitization”, said Katsande.
The country is under 30 days of Covid 19 induced lockdown as it battles the surge of Covid 19 infections.
According to reports, mining companies providing accommodation for their employees such as most Chinese owned companies compel workers to share facilities for eating, sleeping and bathing.
As such, social distancing becomes difficult, if not impossible to practise, thereby increasing the risk of viral transmission.
Mining workforces are transitory, that is, highly mobile and therefore the possibility of COVID-19 entering rural remote and vulnerable communities from mine workforce is great.
Most mine workers stay in locations outside their company premises. They go back to their homes every evening to be with their families yet during the day they interact with a lot of transient staff and contractors coming at their mines.