Mining crisis in Moatize

Mozambique, 2019
Since 2011, two open pit coal mines have been operating directly next to living spaces in Moatize, Mozambique. The operations of these mines, including mine blasting and heavy traffic, is releasing dust particles into the air, which fall over the nearby communities. While dust was never a problem before the mines were built, it is now constantly present, even when the mine is not active. The dust pollutes the air, the water and the food of local people. The mines have also taken control over water that the residents of Moatize depend on. The dust causes severe health problems for residents. Conflicts are arising in the area as a result of the pollution and over land and water grabbing.
Neither the mining companies nor the government of Mozambique have provided these communities with information about the mine’s impacts nor reliable studies on their health. This lack of information, and the absence of community members in decisions about the use of natural resources violate human rights which are recognized on regional, national, and international levels.
The communities surrounding the mines lack concrete evidences to prove that pollution from the mine is violating their human rights and damaging the environment. They lack technical tools skills to evaluate the state of the environment and their health.
2021 – Zine Tonic Award, Honorable Mention
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