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The people in Angoche say contributions offered by local operator Haiyu Mozambique Mining Company are not enough. Problems related to basic services remain the same, with little prospect of improvement.
Here is a checklist of concerns.
Few benefits for the population
The population of Angoche, the third largest in Nampula province and where the Chinese miner Haiyu Mozambique Mining Company is operating, continues to face serious problems related to basic services some eight years after the beginning of heavy sands exploitation, namely access to water, electricity and bad road access.
Poor communities in rich areas
Within the district, Sangache, Murrua and Namue are examples of communities facing extreme poverty. The dwellings are mainly of the most precarious construction, made of substandard bricks, sticks and coconut palm leaves.
Lots of production for little return
The Chinese mining concern began exploiting the Sangache heavy sands in 2010, with production continuing to rise despite the oscillation of prices in the international market. However, the population says they still do not to see any return on the export of valuable minerals such as ilmenite and zircon from their land.
Shortage of drinking water
Finding sufficient drinking water fit for human consumption is one of the problems facing thousands of the region’s inhabitants. For example, there are few potable water holes in the populous neighbourhoods of Murrua and Namue, although in recent months the miner has sunk two new wells.
Another problem is the degradation of roads. Roads within the district of Angoche, are not in good condition; neither are access roads from Nampula. They are all made of packed earth and, depending on the season, are afflicted with dust, pot-holes or mud. The population complains of the miner’s lack of sensitivity in solving this problem, which severely affects economic activity.
Rehabilitation for own benefit
City dwellers are also disillusioned with the Chinese company. While the population complains about the condition of the road linking Angoche with Nampula, the mining company is rehabilitating a section – but less than ten kilometres, and that only to facilitate the transport of the products of its factory to the local port.
The Haiyu Mozambique Mining Company’s warehouses in the port of Angoche, from where the resources are exported to the international market, are full to capacity.
Despite all their promises, the contribution of multinationals to the well-being of local populations has been weak, and community leaders are disappointed. Angoche community leader Lopes Vasco told DW that these companies “are not, so far, fulfilling their obligations. It is not justified that the population remains poor while they make a lot of money out of our resources”.
After much pressure from community leaders, and a meeting with the government, the mining company in September 2018 signed a memorandum for the creation of a strategic social responsibility plan for the period 2017-2020. This included construction of a low-voltage electricity distribution network costing about ten million meticais (EUR 140,000).
Since 2010, when it started its activity in Sangache, the Chinese company has been favouring the local workforce, taking dozens of Mozambicans to China for technical and professional training. Currently, the company has 500 workers, of which only 30 are foreigners – mostly Chinese.
In addition to sinking bore-holes and expanding the electrical distribution network, the mining company has also contributed to the health sector. At the end of last year, Haiyu bought a ready-equipped ambulance valued at more than four million meticais (EUR 56,000) for the Angoche communities.Source: DW