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By CHIKUMBI KATEBE SOME Kasempa res­i­dents in North­west­ern Prov­ince have ac­cused a Chi­nese Mine in the area of fail­ing to se­cure their lives and prop­erty in view of blast­ing ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing place un­der­ground.

This is con­tained in a state­ment of claim filed be­fore the Lusaka High Court were eight res­i­dents have sued Ruida In- vest­ment Lim­ited for car­ry­ing out blast­ing ac­tiv­i­ties un­der­ground which have caused dam­age to houses and crop fields.

Idos Mu­lenga and seven oth­ers all of Shibamba vil­lage in Ji­fumpa Kasempa have ac­cused the min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of dam­ag­ing their houses and de­priv­ing res­i­dents of the en­joy­ment of the land they have lived all their lives.

He said the fam­i­lies were even scared of us­ing pit la­trines which have be­come death traps as some have col­lapsed ow­ing to the blast­ing.

“Some­time in Oc­to­ber 2016 the Ruida In­vest­ment be­gan to carry out blast­ing ac­tiv­i­ties un­der­ground the mine at Ji­fumpa Mine.

“That by rea­son of blast­ing, the vil­lages got af­fected through blast­ing noise and tremors and or vi­bra­tions and caused some houses to crack and most if the pit la­trines ei­ther cracked or col­lapsed al­to­gether,” Mr Mu­lenga said.

He said de­spite ef­forts to en­gage the mine over the dam­age, the noise and blast­ing ac­tiv­i­ties have wors­ened and that he mine has since sent its agents to place bea­cons to in­di­cate which parts of the vil­lage was within the mine area.

This has an­gered the res­i­dents who have been liv­ing in the ar­eas for gen­er­a­tions only to be in­formed they have en­croached on the in­vestors’slands.

They have since asked the High Court to re­strain the Mines from con­tin­ued blast­ing ac­tiv­i­ties which could lead to loss of prop­erty and even life.

“That un­less the de­fen­dant is re­strained by an or­der of in­junc­tion the blast­ing will con­tinue and lives may be lost as houses may equally be­gin to col­lapse like pit la­trines have done,” he said.

They have since de­manded loss and dam­age of struc­tural build­ings of in­di­vid­ual houses which have cracked, and la­trines which in some in­stances have col­lapsed, as well as loss and dam­age to the land they have lived and worked for gen­er­a­tions.

They have asked the court to com­pen­sate them for the nui­sance, by the noise from blast­ing and vi­bra­tions, and that they be re­set­tled at a safer piece of land by build­ing houses and la­trines as well as nat­u­ral re­in­force­ment of the for­est.

Lusaka High Court

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