Salima District Council has launched a crackdown on illegal sand miners along Lake Malawi at Senga Bay in the district.
The crackdown comes a week after The Nation published a story that exposed the illegal sand mining at Senga Bay.
In an interview yesterday, Salima District Council spokesperson Grace Kapatuka said they have developed a plan to stop the illegal mining. She said the plan includes mounting roadblocks to impound trucks that carry the sand from Salima to Lilongwe and other places.
She also said they will conduct an awareness campaign for people to appreciate the danger of sand mining along the lake.
Said Kapatuka: “We will track the miners to find out whether they have mining licences from the council or central government.
“If they fail to show us their licences, they will be brought to book.”
During our recent investigations, local people involved in mining said they are in this business with the blessings of chiefs and vowed to continue mining as it was their only source of income.
Speaking in an earlier interview with Malawi News Agency, Ministry of Mines spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said they plan to formalise mining activities by registering communities’ mines so that government can also benefit from them.
He was responding to questions on illegal mining around Bowa and Kadyamauni in Nkhotakota District.
Phiri also said government plans to establish cooperatives in areas where illegal mining is taking place for the communities to benefit more.
“We will train these groups because mining is dangerous as it involves people extracting minerals in tunnels,” he said.