Shock and anger over use of children in illegal mining in Zambia

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-19 20:29:56|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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LUSAKA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Stakeholders in Zambia on Friday expressed anger over revelation that children as young as 10 were being used in illegal mining activities.

A video has gone viral on social media showing the boys at an illegal mine in Chingola town on the Copperbelt Province scrounging for mineral ores.

Natali Kaunda of the Center for Trade Policy and Dialogue, a local trade policy and development think-tank, said it was disheartening that children were being engaged in illegal mining activities.

"This incident which is evidenced from the video making rounds on social media is a depiction of the gross illegality and poor oversight within the mining sector, especially artisanal and small-scale mining, a trend that should be avoided at all cost," she said in a release.

According to her, the occurrence serves as a reminder on the need to ensure that mining areas were properly secured and monitored at all times to avoid abuse of children.

She further expressed concern that nothing much has been done to provide effective controls and oversight to deter illegal miners from accessing mine assets despite incidents of illegal miners being buried alive in some parts of the country.

On Thursday, the government expressed shock over the emergency of the video and called on the police to arrest the culprits using children in illegal mining.

The ministry of mines and minerals development further said mine inspectors have been dispatched to the province to ascertain and verify the extent of the problem and help bring the culprits to book.