Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) has advised chiefs and community members from Malingunde, Traditional Authority (T/A) Masumbankhunda in Lilongwe to continue with their lives until the project starts.
Cepa director of programmes Herbert Mwalukomo said Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has not yet issued a mining certificate to a mining firm Sovereign Metals.
He said this at Malingunde on Friday during a sensitisation campaign on the entire process of mining.
“Sentitisation is important at this time when the social and environment impact assessment is underway. People should understand that it does not necessarily mean that mining is going to start.
“It can start or not depending on the outcome of the environmental impact assessment. People should continue living their lives. But even if mining is approved, the actual relocation and compensation programme might take years,” said Mwalukomo
Loveness Banda, who represented the office of the Lilongwe district commissioner, warned traditional leaders against being carried away with the developments. She said they should instead be aware of how the process works.
“You should know at what stage the project is. Government has only issued exploration certificate. It is only after government has issued a mining certificate that the project can take off,” she said.
Senior Chief Chitsulo admitted that most people are not as industrious as before because they are afraid of investing their money in various activities and later get relocated. “But we thank Cepa and government for enlightening us on what is happening,” he said.