The silence of the wind

Aerial view of the city of Moatize, the second most densely populated in Western Mozambique. The main road on which most of the coal transport takes place connects the province with the border of Malawi.
Sergio is one of the participants in the participatory monitoring course of the NGO Source International.
Miguel Madrid, Source International, is training local communities on air quality monitoring system.

A serious health risk

Coal dust, especially fine coal dust, has been identified as causing a range of diseases and health problems such as asthma and lung cancer.

The fine dust from the extraction area ends up in the houses of the villages. From left to right: Edmundu shows the coal residues on the palm of his hand found in his home. Tubes from the coal processing Plant in the village of Libertade. A water well in the Nhantchere neighborhood.
From left to right: Dilapidated houses in the village of Bagamoyo. In the background the artificial coal mountains. The interior of one of the many houses damaged by repeated explosions from the extraction site. A column of smoke rises from inside a house in the center of Bagamoyo. In most cases, waste is burnt by the inhabitants themselves, further aggravating the already precarious situation of their health.

Strengthening capacities

The joint Swedish Environmental Protection Agency -UNDP Environmental Governance Programme (EGP) aims to integrate environment and human rights into the governance of the mining sector. It focuses on empowering communities to address the root causes of environmental degradation, human rights violations and social conflict. The EGP is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

From left to right:: Most of the Moatize community rely on water for subsistence agriculture and fishing. The proximity of the mining operations to tributaries of the great Zambeze river also indicate a potential for contamination that goes far beyond the district of Moatize. Two times a day, trains “cut” the villages contributing to the dispersion of coal dust along the way.

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UNDP Africa

UNDP Africa

Advancing sustainable human development in 46 Sub-Saharan African countries.