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Tuesday, January 25, 2022
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HomeMiningSocial investment remains priority for Barrick Lumwana in North-West

Social investment remains priority for Barrick Lumwana in North-West

BY JOHN CHOLA

Barrick Lumwana Mine will continue to prioritize social investment into critical sectors chiefly health, education, water and sanitation, agri- business and local economic development in North-Western Province.

Lumwana Mining Company (LMC) General Manager Paul Gillot has assured that his organization has embedded environmental, social and economic considerations into all Barrick business decision making on a daily basis, through partnerships with host governments, community, and contractors by respectfully engaging with them.

Lumwana Mine Company Sustainability Manager Christopher Mukala said in an interview with Solwezi Today that the mining firms realises the deep poverty haunting many people around the areas the mine operates and the entire province.

Mukala said LMC believes that investment into the five key social areas of health, education, water and sanitation, agri-business and local economic development was critical if the

“We have done so much in the community in terms of small investments in agribusiness, but I think this has not yielded much- needed rewards for the people to grow and fight poverty. To fight poverty we need that five-pronged approach where you have education, jobs, water and sanitation as well as women getting involved in literacy skills,” 

company, Government and community was to make an impact on the poverty situation in the communities around the mine.

Mukala said adequate investment by the mine and its key stakeholders in the identified key spheres was critical for sustainable development in the local area.

“In the recent past Lumwana Mine has done a lot of social investment in health. For instance we have put up the Nkulumazhiba rural health centre which before we went there it was a terrible health post. Now we have rehabilitated it, put power and water there, improved staff houses and it has turned out to be a masterpiece of an investment within the local area where we operate. We feel that is critical in terms of access to quality health and improving the lives of the people,” Mukala said.

Mukala said come 2022 LMC will sustain its social investment into the area with support to a local high school in the Manyama area.

“For a long time people around LMC have had to go as far as Mutanda Boarding School or Maheba Secondary School to access high school education. We partnered with Government to put up a 1×3 classroom, modern ablution blocks for girls and boys, and we still have intentions of going back even next year. This social investment and those going into improving and equipping even primary schools we believe will lead to greater access to quality education.”

On the agri-business side Mukala said the mine was currently undertaking a business survey within Lumwana area to try and understand what activities the people are involved in.

“We have done so much in the community in terms of small investments in agribusiness, but I think this has not yielded much-needed rewards for the people to grow and fight poverty. To fight poverty we need that five-pronged approach where you have education, jobs, water and sanitation as well as women getting involved in literacy skills,” he said.

Going forward, LMC was resolved to spearhead people-centred projects aimed at improving the quality of life among the people.

Next month, as has been the case every December, LMC management will once again meet the community to review all 2021 social projects and then unveil the 2022 community financing budget.

The CSR annual budgets are additional to other funds the mine invests into the locales through development vehicles like Lumwana Community Trust.

 

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