Residents in Bulawayo’s Pumula North suburb have started reporting cases of property damage due to heavy blasting works at a nearby Chinese quarry mine.
Haulin Quarry Mining Company was given the nod to set up a quarry mine by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC).
Since starting operations in 2021, the Chinese firm has been at loggerheads with residents over the explosion and noise pollution emanating from the mining site.
A resident, Ntombizodwa Mathuthu said the glasses on her cupboard shattered after a heavy blast on Tuesday last week.
“The blasts usually occur around 5 am in the morning or 5 pm. These are constant blasts and when they occur it’s like we are experiencing an earthquake. So, when the incident happened that day, my cupboard gave in and all my glasses were broken,” said Mathuthu.
Mathuthu said despite the Chinese firm promising to conduct an assessment of all the damaged houses, they have not visited her house.
“We are no longer safe as residents, so far, we have only seen the councilor and the residents’ association, but we have not seen the Chinese mine owners. We are now living in fear as we don’t know what will happen next time there is a heavy blast. Our houses now have cracked walls due to the blasting,” said Mathuthu.
“I engaged our counsellor and she is aware of this matter. As residents, we are now living in fear as we don’t know what is next for us and we don’t even know whether we will ever receive assistance when we lose our houses.”
Responding to the matter Ward 17 Councilor Sikhululekile Moyo said some residents were not allowing the mine officials from assessing their houses.
She added that residents had the power to demand that the mine shuts down if it was causing environmental damage.
A representative of Haulin mine said they were informed about the incident and were awaiting feedback from the team that went to assess the damage.