Pumula North residents accuse Chinese quarry mining company of infrastructure damage


BULAWAYO – Hualin Investments (Pvt) Limited, a Chinese quarry mining company, is facing backlash from residents of Pumula North Suburb in Bulawayo as they accuse it of causing noise pollution and damaging road infrastructure.

Pumula North residents accuse Chinese quarry mining company of infrastructure damage
Image: NewZimbabwe

The company was granted permission to establish the quarry mine in 2021 by the City of Bulawayo.

Heavy-duty trucks transporting quarry materials have severely impacted the suburb's roads, leading some kombi operators to avoid the Pumula North route. 

"The infrastructure in the constituency is under threat of destruction, with some of the houses around the mine now having cracks due to heavy blasting at the mine, while roads have also been damaged by heavy-duty trucks," a resident told Southern Eye.

Another resident, Sikhumbulelo Dube, appealed to the Chinese miner to repair his cracked house. 

Monica Dube, a resident from the peri-urban Methodist village, added that dust from the quarry is polluting pastures, leading to their livestock feeding on dirt.

Despite the backlash, Ward 17 Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo confirmed the damage caused to the roads by heavy-duty trucks but also commended the mine for employing locals. 

"What I know is that three-quarters of children with qualifications are from Pumula," Moyo said.

Hualin Investments spokesperson Rodrick Moyo asserted that the company's operations are above board and monitored by inspectors from the Mines and Mining Development Ministry. 

"The mine has also implemented safety measures to warn residents living near the mine, including using notices, sirens and human personnel," he said.

Moyo also claimed that Hualin was giving back to the Pumula community through corporate social responsibility programmes. 

"The engagements have seen investments in local primary and secondary schools within Ward 17 for infrastructural development. 

"The Hualin scholarship programme pays school fees and registration for O-Level examinations for selected underprivileged students. 

"Water infrastructure is part of the 2024 development projects, and Babambeni Primary School has already benefited from a water kiosk to alleviate water challenges faced by locals."

Chinese-owned mining operations in Zimbabwe are notorious for causing untold environmental degradation in the areas they operate. 

People living near these mines often complain about damaged roads and bridges, residential infrastructure damage, hazardous pollutants, and air pollution caused by the Chinese. 

In October 2023, residents in Pumula North expressed fear that their houses might collapse at any moment due to the ongoing blasts from a Chinese quarry mine operating in their area.

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