KARONGA (Bishop Witmos, Mana) Traditional Authorities (T/As) in Karonga and Chitipa districts have agreed to work hand in hand in lobbying for corporate social responsibility from any multinational company that would like to extract minerals from the two districts for the benefit of communities.
Speaking during an extraordinary meeting with chiefs from the two districts on December 20, Paramount Chief Kyungu expressed concern that in the past, mining companies failed to provide meaningful projects to communities around the mines.
He, therefore, urged the communities to unite and speak with one voice to bring change, adding that chiefs would like investors to provide jobs to youths from the two districts to reduce the problem of unemployment.
Said Kyungu: ‘‘It is very important for the two districts to unite as regards the natural resources that both have, and I am impressed that all chiefs have agreed that we should speak with one voice and that the natural resources that we have must benefit everybody.’’
‘‘We need infrastructure like hospitals and schools in areas where mining activities are taking place.’’
In his remarks, Karonga Forum for Oil and Gas secretary Wavisanga Silungwe emphasised the need for investors to engage the people on the ground and sign an agreement on the projects that are needed before commencement of work.
Reports indicate that two companies, Hamra Oil Holding Limited and Rakgas would like to drill for oil in Lake Malawi, including the northern part of Karonga District.
However, government suspended licenCes of the two companies a year ago over some irregularities.