Shayona sways Kasungu communities with CSR endeavours
…initiates tree-planting exercise
…continues drug donations to health facilities
By Chiku Jere
Communities surrounding Shayona Cement factory in Kasungu East have praised the corporation for showing unwavering commitment towards fulfilling most of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities it pledged prior to establishment of the cement factory in the area.
The company, whose mega cement manufacturing plant is located in the area of Senior Group Village Headman Mwimila in Traditional Authority Wimbe in the district, promised to invest a whooping K600 million in CSR projects before kick-starting construction of the cement factory.
Speaking when he presided over the tree-planting and drug donation ceremony at the company’s factory premises, T/A Wimbe expressed profound gratitude to the investor saying Shayona is meeting its CSR obligations as it has already completed some projects it pledged while others are underway.
Shayona donated drugs worthy K2-million to St. Augustine clinic located at its factory premises, which is ran by Anglican Diocese of Lake Malawi.
The coming of this company to our area has been a blessing to us as it is doing a lot to assist the community. We believe we will continue working with them to achieve better life for the communities,
said the traditional leader whose jurisdiction comprises 3500 villages.
T/A Wimbe said Shayona’s tree-planting exercise is in tandem with the ongoing government-initiated afforestation campaign that is underway in the district, whereby villages through respective Village Development Committees (VDCs) are being encouraged to undertake forest restoration activities.
He, therefore, urged all the chiefs to participate in the programme by encouraging their subjects to plant as many trees as they can saying trees remain central to people’s lives.
We depend on trees from birth to death. Traditionally, pregnant mothers have used herbs to initiate proper child delivery and when the baby is born, life is determined with the first cry which is the first independent breathe of the child from oxygen drawn from trees. Trees also provide firewood for cooking food for human growth and when life ends, trees are used to make a coffin for a befitting burial. So you can see how trees are central to human life,
He also thanked Shayona for the drug donation saying it will go a long way in assisting the people in need of urgent medical attention.
District Forestry Officer (DFO) for Kasungu, Matias Gondwe, said this year his office intends to plant 5-million trees in the district.
He said the core massage from the District Forestry Office to people of Kasungu is ‘let us plant more trees and conserve forest’.
Gondwe thanked Shayona for being a passionate environmental conservationist in the district through its contribution of tree seedlings to various institutions as well as its own effort to plant and care for trees around its campus.
Clinic Administrator, Alfred Jinazali, who also represented the Anglican Diocese of Lake Malawi, expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation to Shayona management for the ‘amazing’ drugs donation.
We express our appreciation for your material and financial support to the clinic including the regular donation of drugs,
He said the donations motivate medical personnel to give their best in assisting patients and also enables the clinic to provide medical assistance at a subsidised fee.
The administrator also thanked the company for accommodating clinic staff in houses at the campus that are meant of factory workers.
Shayona Public Relations Officer Rowland Mwalweni, who represented the company’s Managing Director Jitendra Patel, said when the company came to the area, it promised to focus its corporate social responsibility investment on two sectors, education and health.
This is why we have been donating drugs and other materials to the clinic and other health facilities in the district including Kasungu District Hospital, where we donated an ambulance.
However, after we observed that there is a high rate of deforestation due to charcoal burning business and tobacco farming, we thought that we should also get involved in afforestation activities,
Shayona Factory Administrator, Austine Mvula, explained that they have planted 10,000 Mahogany (Khaya anthothecca) trees this year, adding to the over 15000 still-surviving trees that the company previously planted.
He also said the Corporation has planted grass and other shrubs around the factory as another environmental conservation measure.
Our goal is that at the end of the mine life, we leave the environment intact,
This was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 47 (March 2017).