PRIME Minister(PM), Kassim Majaliwa has ordered suspension of bauxite mining activities at Magamba Mountain in Lushoto District following complaints by residents of massive environmental degradation.
As such, the PM directed responsible authorities to strengthen security and ensure that no one including the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) operates at the site.
He issued the directives after visiting the site and held talks with members of the public at Mabughai Primary School situated in Lushoto District.
According to the Premier, he reached the decision after a complaint also forwarded to him by former President Benjamin Mkapa and Lushoto Member of Parliament (MP) Shabani Shekilindi on the activity.
“Mining operations cannot continue while people are suffering due to environmental destruction impacts...the government shall not tolerate this,” said the PM.
Thus, he ordered all parties who were earlier issued with mining certificates at the site to return them back to the government, and directed the Minister for Minerals, Mr Dotto Biteko to supervise the exercise.
Earlier on, Mr Shekilindi informed Mr Majaliwa that the residents were fed up with destructions being caused by bauxite mining activities at Mount Magamba.
He said that the mountain being a source of water for the residents was getting interference from the mining activities, which were also disrupting public infrastructure in the environs.
According to him, by allowing the operations to continue it will have adverse effects on access to water in the area.
In response, Mr Biteko explained that there were 22 mining licenses issued at Magamba, but due to the tension that existed between the locals and the licensed investors.
The ministry was forced to suspend the operations until the parties reach a consensus.
Meanwhile, Mr Majaliwa visited a Mombo resident, Miriam Shemndolwa, who is living with disabilities after her fate was televised in a programme known as ‘Wape Nafasi’ hosted by Tuma Dandi of TBC.
When Miriam appeared in the programme, she requested for public assistance from various leaders, and in particular the Prime Minister.
In the course, he decided to support her with 5m/-, besides others, which he didn’t mention to help her build a house, where she would stay with her grandmother.