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Lava-like Underground Coal Fires Wreak Havoc In Hwange

Lava-like Underground Coal Fires Wreak Havoc In Hwange

Underground coal fires in Hwange town are increasingly becoming a threat to human life and infrastructure.

A road linking Hwange Colliery Company (HCCL)’s out-of-service Number Two Colliery and Number Three Colliery mines was destroyed by the lava-like fires but it has not been attended to for months despite authorities having been notified.

The coordinator of Greater Hwange Residents Trust, Fidelis Chima, said about 10 000 people are in danger as the fires have been intensifying in the past two decades. Said Chima:

The underground fires at Makwika and Madumabisa have been there for years, the place was once mined for coal, now when oxygen gets in contact with the mineral it produces heat which eventually results in these fires.

It is possible that there could be people living on top of these fires, our greatest fear is that some of the people and houses will be consumed by these underground fires.

These fires have been there for more than 20 years but they are intensifying at a very scary proportion and more than 10 000 people are now under threat.

Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) director Farai Maguwu said the Government may need to move Hwange residents from high-risk areas. He said:

Putting out the fires is not possible. Government and the HCCL need coal seam fire trackers to identify high-risk areas and cordon them off.

Some settlements need to be wholly abandoned and a resettlement plan put in place, while roads need to be constantly monitored otherwise moving vehicles can be swallowed.

Recently, an eight-year-old girl died several days after she fell into one of the burning pits and suffered severe burns to her legs.

The girl was ferried to Mpilo General Hospital in Bulawayo but doctors could not save her life even after amputating her legs.

More: NewZimbabwe.com


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6 Comments

Kanda 4 months ago

Vangagona kumanager those pits when they are failing to pay the workers


WILLIAM SONBOY CHINEMBIRI 4 months ago

IS GOVERNMENT NOT CONNECTED WITH HWANGE COLLIERY COMPANY LIMITED MINE ? I THINK IT IS CONNECTED WITH IT SOMEHOW IN ITS OWNERSHIP.

I URGE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ACTION ON THESE PIT FIRES. THE FIRES SET THEMSELVES SCIENTIFICALLY. RESIDENTS SAY THE FIRES HAVE BEEN BURNING FOR YEARS NOW, MAYBE UPTO 20 YEARS.

OUR GOVERNMENT CAN NOT KEEP MUM ON THESE FIRES. THEY ARE BECOMING A NATIONAL DISASTER NOW. GOVERNMENT MUST CHIP IN WITH EMA. IT MUST FIND A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM.

FROM A LAYMAN'S POINT, WHY DOES HWANGE COLLIERY COMPANY LIMITED NOT ISOLATE THESE PITS BY FENCING THEM ?

YOURS FAITHFULLY
CDE KUFA KWANGU ZVAROVA
[ THE BUSH LAWYER ]


Mwana waBush Lawyer 4 months ago

Govt has a 35% stake at the Colliery. This makes it the majority shareholder. Secondly,the Colliery cannot isolate these fires because they are spontaneous and will be underground only to resurface near the roads. They have tried rehabilitating the mined out areas but clearly it's not working. Fencing wont work either coz the mined out areas are vast,there's the JKL Open Cast mine, M-Block,Kamandama and Makwika mines,all these mined out areas somehow lead to residential areas coz they were set up in such a way that workers don't live far away from their places of work. Relocating these people again is also difficult coz the outskirts of Hwange has seen an influx of Chinese miners being granted mining licences. Tall of South Mining, W and K, ZZCC,Makomo and Zambezi Gas. On the other hand there is a National Park to protect saka pakaipa apa.

Okongo 4 months ago

How is the fire starting ,is it the Colliery or its volcano-like lava coming from underground


Okongo 4 months ago

How is the starting ,is it the Colliery or its volcano-like lava coming from underground


Chief Nqumbi 4 months ago

Sad,very sad my home town 😭😭



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