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Increased Mine Safety, Panacea to Fatalities – ZCM

By KENNEDY MUPESENI, Times of Zambia

ZAMBIA Chamber of Mines (ZCM) has called for increased mine safety and efficient rescue acumen to minimise the high number of mining accidents in the country.
The Chamber said the Government should ensure that all mining operations whether big or small in the country had an efficient rescue team and first aid facilities to save lives.
ZCM chief executive officer Sokwani Chilembo said that the recent mining accidents at Sensele Mine and Macrolink Mine should serve as a lesson to invest in mine rescue operations to save lives. He said  this  during the Zambia Mine Rescue National Final Heat Competition award dinner in Mufulira on Friday evening held at Sunset Lodge .
“We need to put in place efficient rescue and first aid teams and facilities to save lives ,accidents cost money and lives which lead to loss of production hence the need for efforts to strengthen rescue operations ,” Mr Chilembo said .
He said in the effort to benchmark with regional and international best practices, the Chamber would continue collaborating with the Mine Rescue Services South Africa, the International Mine Rescue Body and other relevant bodies .
Mr Chilembo urged the Zambia Mine Rescue Services to live up to its mandate of providing efficient and cost effective mine rescue services and training in emergency preparedness to the mining industry and the community to mitigate loss of life and property.
Chamber Mines of Zambia Council for First Aid chairperson Dr. Mieke Mulenga said first aid played a key role in ensuring the safety of miners are safeguarded.
“Proficient first aid is important. Mining companies need to invest in improvement of first aid teams and facilities to minimise mine fatalities,” Dr Mulenga said.
Ten teams from across the mining industry participated in the rescue and first aid  training in Mufulira at Mopani Central Training Centre for a period of five days .
Zambia Mine Rescue Association President Gabriel Zulu said the Zambian rescue teams have shown improvements from  last year and that they were equal to the task.
Status Hi Tech Zambia Limited Chief Executive Officer  Timothy Zgambo said effective mining equipment was critical in ensuring safe mining.
Mopani Copper Mine Mufulira mine rescue team emerged the overall winners of the competition followed by Lubambe who got the second slot and  Konkola Copper Mine rescue emerged third.
Mopani Copper Mines – Mufulira team. Winners of the Zambia Mines Rescue National Final Heat Competition 2024.
Lubambe Copper Mine who emerged 2nd.
Konkola Copper Mines – Konkola team who were 3rd prize winners.
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