2024-06-23

The Mining Minister highlighted the standards of the regulatory framework in the mining industry

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Minister of Mining Monica Chang’anamuno highlighted the standards of the regulatory framework and its significance for the well-being of mine workers across the country.

Chayang’anamuno made this remark on the official regulatory framework in the ministry industry on Thursday in Lilongwe.

She: “The formulation of these Standards is a very important achievement and it shows our commitment to promoting mining safety and health as well as fighting Tuberculosis ( TB) and other professional dangers.”

Chayang’anamuno further stated the standards are part and parcel of Malawi’s commitment to the Malawi 2063 blueprint and were developed under the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support Project (SATBHSSP) with help from the World Bank.

She lamented that Malawi is the only country among Lesotho, Zambia, and Mozambique to adopt such mining safety standards under the project which started in 2017 and lasts this June.

Chang’anamuno further also announced that the outdated Mines and Minerals Act of 1981 has been replaced with the new Mines and Minerals Act of 2019, which will soon be gazetted.

She also disclosed the Mines Safety Regulations of 1982 have been revised as well, resulting in seven new sets of Mines Safety and Health Regulations.

Chayang’anamuno said, “These regulations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, aim to promote good practices and uniformity in the mining industry.”

She added that standards were formulated through collaboration between the Ministry of Mining and the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), which started work in 2022 as part and parcel of developing the prescribed mining safety and health regulations.

In his sentiment, Malawi Bureau of Standard (MBS) Director General Professor Bernard Thole hailed the mining ministry for recognizing the importance of standards within the legal framework.

He said: “It is common knowledge that apart from trade facilitation, standards are key to environmental protection and promotion of human health and safety. Mining has long been recognized as a harmful occupation associated with elevated risks for morbidity and mortality.”

In his remakes, Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support Project (STBHSSP)coordinator and National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Elimination Program in the Ministry of Health Dr. James Mpunga, Coordinator for SATBHSSP and the National TB & Leprosy Elimination Program at the Ministry of Health, said the standards will address health regulation gaps that existed in the mining sector previously.

He said studies have revealed that the population at risk of developing TB in the communities has almost a 10 times increased chance of getting TB if they are working in the mining sector.

He said: “There is a need to enforce the launched standards vigilantly so that people can comply with them and, in the process, reduce the burden of TB in the mining sector.”

The collaboration of ministry of Health, Ministry of Mining, and Ministry of Labour collaborated on the right track for the implementation of the SATBHSSP project in this country.

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