The piece “Tribute to fallen friends: Mineral sector mourns Phiri, Kampelewela” featured below was initially published in Malawi’s Mining Review Issue Number 23 2015 that is circulating this March 2015.
The full edition is available for download here.
To learn more about this quarterly publication, edited by Marcel Chimwala, read the post about the “Voice of the mineral sector in Malawi”.
Tribute to fallen friends
Mineral sector mourns Phiri, Kampelewela
Stakeholders in Malawi’s minerals sector have expressed shock over the death of former Director of Geological Survey Department Mr. Fraser Phiri and Director of Environmental Affairs Department Dr. Aloysius Kampelewela, who passed away last month.
President of Mkango Resources, Alexander Lemon, says it is sad for Malawi, which is developing its minerals sector to lose the two great persons who invested their time in mineral resource development and environmental protection respectively.
Fraser played a great role in mineral resource development which is evident in many geological reports for Malawi, while Aloysius contributed much to the environmental work in Malawi,
Geologist John Nkhoma of Chiwandama Geo-Consultants who worked with Mr. Fraser Phiri says he will live to remember Mr. Phiri as a friend and working colleague while he will remember Dr. Kampelewera as an environmentalist who could accommodate views of all stakeholders including mining companies.
I shared a lot with Fraser as a fellow professional and friend. He was one of the pioneers in geology in Malawi. In particular he introduced me to real hands-on field work when I was on attachment from University of Malawi waiting for a scholarship to study Geology in UK. He was carrying out exploration for ceramic clays at Linthipe and he taught me pitting, pit logging and sampling. He carried out alot of surveys for brick clays countywide and some of the clays he identified in Lilongwe area were used in the production of bricks which were used to build the Capital City!
On Aloysius, I knew him as one of the great environmentalist in Malawi who was very accommodative to views of all stakeholders. I worked closely with him when I was in the civil service, mainly during discussions relating to the development of the Kayelekera Uranium mine where he gave very constructive advice on the best approach. May the souls of these two patriot gentlemen rest in eternal piece,
says a grieved Nkhoma.
Deputy Director for Mines Department Ackim Atileni Wona also expressed grief over the passing on of the two gentlemen.
It is a shock for me to bury these two gentlemen in one month. I just interacted with Dr. Kampelewera a few days ago. Though a respected professional, the man was jovial to everybody. May the souls of the two rest in peace,
Former Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Grain Malunga, also added his sorrowful words in this article below:
Tribute to fallen friends
I joined Geological Survey of Malawi on 6th April 1986 with no experience in geological mapping. I was accommodated in an office where John Nkhoma and Late Philemon Gondwe were. The following day I mate this Fraser on the corridor on ground floor smoking his cigarette looking like a philosopher in deep thought. He looked at me and spoke nothing and I thought “Am I going to be like him talking to rocks, photographing my geological hammer or coin every time I want to take a photo of a rock?” Yes I joined a family of rare species with a gifted mind of trying to beat God’s theory of evolution and relative age determination in rocks. A week later I heard from John and Philemon that Fraser was a Principle Geologist and Editor who had studied geology and later hydrogeology. I recalled that every time I went into villages there were messages on boreholes reading “Drilled by F. R. Phiri”. When I went into the Library most Technical Reports were authored by either Fraser Phiri or James Chatupa.
I decided to follow their footsteps and on top of technical guidance by John and Philemon. Fraser developed my geological career when he became Chief Geologist because he kept on sending me on exploration activities and establishing new Geological Survey Offices. First I thought that he never li”ked me to be at Headquarters but later I realised that he was building my career and preparing me to always be in deep thoughts solving the mysteries of geology and mining. Thank you Fraser and MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE.
The Environmental Affairs Department enacted the Environmental Management Act in 1996 a few years after the Department was established. I remember undertaking Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for “Establishment of Bwanje Valley Lime Project” and “Mulanje Mountain Bauxite for establishment of an Alumina/Aluminium Industry”. The persons I interacted with were RalphaelKabwadza and Aloysius Kampelewera. Aloysius was the contact person and we adopted the World Bank Standard of undertaking EIAs and that was the time we both came closer and worked together understanding various aspects of EIA and drafting of Environmental Management Plans sectoral guidelines”. He was so passionate at what he was doing and wanted that to be thoroughly done.
Malawi became an african leader on issues of environment and climate change because of his leadership. Malawi represents Africa and other Least Development Countries because Aloysius had bred and led a team of young men and women who became so dedicated and became good negotiators on various conventions on climate change, phasing out of ozone depleting substances and biodiversity.
Malawi should be proud to have had such a hardworking and loving person. Aloysius has left such traits in our young professionals and MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.