Zimbabwe News

Chinese quarry mining company faces backlash in Pumula North

Residents of Pumula North Suburb in Bulawayo accuse a Chinese quarry mining company, Hualin Investments (Pvt) Limited, of causing noise pollution and destroying road infrastructure in the suburb.

The roads, severely impacted by heavy-duty trucks transporting quarry materials, have led some kombi operators to avoid the Pumula North route altogether.

The Chinese company was granted permission to establish the quarry mine in 2021 by the City of Bulawayo and the contract is valid for 10 years.

Hualin is conducting quarry mining behind Pumula High School in the area, but the majority of residents are said to be against the venture.

A resident who spoke to Southern Eye in an interview recently bemoaned the damage to infrastructure caused by the company. Said the resident:

The infrastructure in the constituency is under threat of destruction, with some of the houses around the mine now having cracks due to heavy blasting at the mine, while roads have also been damaged by heavy-duty trucks.

Another resident, Sikhumbulelo Dube, appealed to the Chinese miner to repair his cracked house.

Monica Dube, a resident from the peri-urban Methodist village said dust from the quarry is polluting pastures and their livestock is now feeding on dirt.

Ward 17 Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo confirmed the damage caused to the roads by heavy-duty trucks but also commended the mine for employing locals. Moyo said:

What I know is that three-quarters of children with qualifications are from Pumula.

Hualin Investments spokesperson Rodrick Moyo said the company’s operations are above board.

Moyo asserted that the company followed due processes and was monitored by inspectors from the Mines and Mining Development Ministry. He said:

The mine has also implemented safety measures to warn residents living near the mine, including using notices, sirens and human personnel.

Moyo also claimed that Hualin was ploughing back to the Pumula community through corporate social responsibility programmes. He said:

The engagements have seen investments in local primary and secondary schools within Ward 17 for infrastructural development.

The Hualin scholarship programme pays school fees and registration for O-Level examinations for selected underprivileged students.

Water infrastructure is part of the 2024 development projects, and Babambeni Primary School has already benefited from a water kiosk to alleviate water challenges faced by locals.

Chinese-owned mining operations in Zimbabwe are notorious for causing untold environmental degradation in the areas they operate.

Villagers living near these mines often complain about damaged roads and bridges, hazardous pollutants, and air pollution caused by the Chinese.

For instance, in Mutoko, where quarrying has been ongoing since the 1980s, the Buja people have witnessed cracks in their homes, debris from blasts, and overall environmental degradation.

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