Residents of Bulawayo’s Pumula Constituency are angry with the quarry blasting activities of Hualin Quarry mine located in Pumula North adjacent to residential houses and have openly told the mine and their local leadership to do things rights.
On Wednesday 15 December 2021, Hualin mine blasted some quarry in their mine site and the noise was heard as far as Pelandaba west and Pumula South which is +3km away from the mine.
Angry that this will destabilize their houses, the residents summoned the Mine Manager a Mr Hua to the Pumula Updates group where the MP and Councillors were also present.
Mr Hua admitted that they used heavy blasting claiming that “we just need to level a flat ground put our machine, blasting is not long term”.
Pressed by residents to clarify what “not long term” means and the effects of the blasting on the residents’ houses, Hua said “I believe you only heard the sound and didn’t feel the vibration… Our office is 250 meters away. It didn’t hurt anything. I’m sorry for today’s voice”
The mine Manager also clarified that the vibrations will not be heard 300 meters away and pledged to “ask the engineers to reduce the weight of explosives so as not to affect everyone”.
Hualin Quarry mine has been at the centre of controversy since its inception in year 2020 with Pumula residents querying the EIA Consultation process and the siting of the mine.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) has been training some Pumula and Hyde Park residents on nonviolent civic engagement and social accountability on mining issues using EIA laws.
The organization has been engaging the mine to make public their EIA Report but the mine officials’ initial response was that an EIA is a private company document which MIHR disputed. MIHR has since engaged EMA Bulawayo provincial office in pursuit of the EIA report.