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Siwawa urges women to ameliorate mining skills

15 Mar 2023

Women from Southern African countries have been encouraged to upgrade their expertise in mining space, primarily on safety and health issues, Botswana Chamber of Mines Mr Charles Siwawa has said.

Officially opening a two-day training of mining entrepreneurs in Gaborone recently, he said the session was to engage women on causes Tuberculosis (TB) in the mining industry and other occupational risks and disease inherent in the mining environment.

He said the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community in Arusha Tazania (ECSA-HC) sponsored the event in  an effort to get women in mining to understand challenges and associated risks and how best avoid them.

He said the exercise held under the Theme: ‘Fostering Regional Cooperation for better health’ attracted chairpersons and secretaries of mining associations in the Southern Africa nations.

Mr Siwawa said women came from across sectors, from those occupying the cooperate ladder, those doing supplies in mining industry, owners prospecting licenses, those owning mining licenses, all the women across Africa should be encouraged to be involved in mining.

He said mining risks might not necessarily be high in Botswana, but in other countries such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo where more artisan miners were found there was such  possibility.

“These artisan miners go into alluvial mining where conditions they work in are conducive and we are trying to convince and educate women to recognise that the risks might not only be in artisan mining, but all types of mining,  Mr Siwawa said.

At the end of training Mr Siwawa said they expected each member countriy to engage the SADC Secretariat to discuss matters of concer in the mining industry.

In interview, Chairperson of Women Mining Association Southern of Africa Mrs Nametso-Ntsosa Carr said SADC Women in Mining has been collaborating with Tuberculosis in Mining Sector (TIMS) driven by ECSA-HC, and as recipients of global funding were eager to engage associations for assistance.

Mrs Ntsosa- Carr said resolutions from thetraining workshop should conclude on the constitution, sign it and hand it to SADC Secretariat. “Our constitution will be taken to the ministerial level by SADC headquarters and register us as SADC Women in Mining,” she said.

She said SADC Women in Mining  advocate for policies, processes and decisions. “Since we have various problems in our countries we appeal for unity so as to speak with one voice,” she said.

Ms Lillian Njuba, director of Finance ECSA-HC in Arusha Tazania said Tuberculosis in the Mining Sector in Southern Africa (TIMS III) was a Global Fund project aimed at reducing the burden of tuberculosis (TB) among miners, ex-miners, their families, and the mining communities in SADC.

She said women were a significant part of this population, and ECSA-HC recognised the need to address human rights and gender barriers that limited women participation in the mining industry.

The two day training workshop expect positive outcomes that includes increased capacity of women in the mining industry to participate and contribute to the sector’s growth and development.

She said the training also aimed to enhance understanding of women’s rights and responsibilities in the workplace, including health and safety regulations and human rights protections, enhance their understanding of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace, and provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to participate in policy development processes related to ending TB in the mining sector. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Idah Basimane

Location : GABORONE

Event : training of mining entrepreneurs

Date : 15 Mar 2023