Last week, the BBC published the video story ‘Fears of river poisoning in Malawi‘.
You can watch the video here.
In short –
- Wyness Simfukwe, a resident in Kayelekera Village, is concerned about water safety of nearby water sources given proximity and discharge from mining companies.
- Fisherman Willy Kayilisi at Lake Malawi where the rivers from the mining areas meet the lake say that they have seen some strange fish and dead fish.
- Routine water tests are done by mining company Paladin and the Government; in earlier communication with Human Rights Watch in 2015, Paladin’s Greg Walker said, “We don’t disclose our monitoring results regarding water testing because there might always be outliers that can be misinterpreted by the general public” but would not be opposed to the government sharing their monitoring results.
- Kossam Munthali of Foundation for Community Support Services said they have requested the government to release the results but with no success.
- The Director of Mines, Atileni Wona, responded that government is developing a communications strategy and will engage a communications officer. Government has not yet shared results with residents but the Director commented that “we are going towards that”.
- Reporter Nancy Kacungira concludes, “An absence of answers has created an abundance of suspicion. What the people in Karonga long for most is peace of mind. They want to know that they can trust their water and they can trust their government.”