WITH President John Magufuli’s visit to Nyamongo village in Mara region in 2018 and directives, the area has never witnessed any environmental pollution emitted by North Mara Gold Mine (NMGM).
That was the stance of the Minister of State in the Vice- President’s Office responsible for Environment and Union Matters Mussa Azzan Zungu and his counterpart in charge of Minerals, Mr Doto Biteko, while adding that the government will be making frequent inspections to ensure that the investor’s operations do not endanger citizens and livestocks’ health.
Speaking to residents of Nyamongo recently after visiting the gold mine, Mr Zungu, noted that he was satisfied with measures they had put in place to prevent water and toxic chemicals’ leakages to the public.
“As an Environment Minister, I have gone to verify safety measures put in place to protect your health. The work they have done is great and impressing. However, we shall be making periodic inspections to ensure waste water from the mine does not affect you as people living around the mine,” added Mr Zungu.
On his part, National Environment Management Council (NEMC) Director General Dr Samuel Gwamaka accompanying him said that they have also been closely monitoring the activities of the gold mine, since the President gave the directives that they stop harming the environment.
To implement the directive, NEMC was at times forced to fine the gold mine millions of shillings for breaching environmental laws.
In a related development, Mr Zungu also urged artisanal and small-scale miners to take precaution measures against the use of mercury, adding its use causes health problems to human beings.
On his part, Minerals Minister, Mr Biteko acknowledged how the investor had compensated the villagers after their environmental pollution mistake.
In the course of the tour, the two ministers also witnessed an initiative to compensate over 1,600 villagers living close to the mine pocketing over 30bn/- for their annexed plots.
“Today is the day to work on what we said in the past. As you remember in September 7, 2018 President Dr John Magufuli passed here at Nyamongo and instructed for compensation after complaints of environmental pollution to be solved immediately”, Mr Biteko said.
To compensate them the investor teamed up with CRDB bank, where all the affected villagers were to open accounts that according to the financial institution’s Director of Retail Banking, Boma Raballa all would be served.
“We have put in place a strategy that would ensure that we have a branch here in Nyamongo in months’ time from now,” Mr Raballa said.
Currently, he said CRDB has five branches in Mara region, hence opening of the Nyamongo branch will make them be six in the area.
However, he advised the villagers to wisely use their money on income generating activities.