Malawi government should renegotiate Mchenga Coal Mine deal so that it should benefit surrounding communities in the north of the country, Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua said in parliament.
Mchenga Coal Mines supplies the bulk of its production to the local industry and exports duff coal, which has no market locally.
It is located in the 90 km2 Livingstonia coalfield in Rumphi, which has probable reserves of 25-million tons and proven reserves of 1.5-million tons of coal with an ash content of 17%, a sulphur content of 0.5% and a calorific value of 6.8 kcal/kg, according to Mining Weekly.
The mine, which was previously owned and operated by government, was privatised in 1999
Kalua made this request during his contribution towards the 2016/17 proposed National Budget last Friday.
The legislature argued that since its inception, the mine has not benefited the surrounding communities as there is no infrastructure one can point at close to the mine.
Said Kalua: “It is disheartening that communities living close or surrounding the mine continue to wallow in abject poverty when the miners are getting richer each passing day.
“People’s health has deteriorated as there are no health facilities as required by law. Housing remains poor as it lacks proper infrastructures to qualify for a decent housing.”