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BCL casts cloud over Inter-Mines competition

LINDIWE MOZOLA
Members of the Jwaneng Mine team celebrate their victory
PALAPYE: Jwaneng Mine was crowned the winner of this years Botswana Chambers of Mines (BCM) Inter-Mines First Aid Competitions, an event in which BCL Mine was absent for the first time.

The competitions were held at BIUST over the weekend.

However, the usual fanfare was absent as BCL Mine workers were noticeably absent. Other miners and organisers observed a moment of silence for the Mine, which was placed in liquidation a year ago. Jwaneng Mine emerged victorious against Morupule Coal Mine (MCM), which was the host and second in position, Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines (OLDM), Karowe & Botswana Ash. The games involved two challenges, which are the individual challenge and simulation challenge. With the individual challenge the teams were judged based on their individual ability to apply first aid skills, while with the simulation challenge the points were based on the overall team’s performance.

Jwaneng triumphed in both challenges notching up 375.5 & 187.5 points respectively. MCM grabbed position two followed by OLDM. Karowe was fourth and Botash last.  

The winners walked away with P3,000 per participant while those in position two received P2,000.

Karowe Mine general manager, Johanne Mchieve said although the industry has suffered a knock due to recent job losses such as the closure of the BCL Mine, the teams managed to demonstrate enthusiasm in the games and had greatly improved.

He said that the Inter-Mines are vital in an industry, which is prone to accidents that have claimed many lives over the years.

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“Therefore these are not just games; they are more of awareness building in the sense of learning essential skills to save people when accidents arise in our respective departments,” he said.

Delivering the results, chief judge, Reginald Madisa said that they were assessing teams looking at the time taken to attend to a patient, communication between the team members, as well as techniques used in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) among others.

He said that during any emergency there is a possibility to save a life as much as there is a possibility to lose a life and therefore it is important to understand skills to be applied when emergencies arise.

“Jwaneng Mine was able to execute such provisions the best as compared to other teams. However overall, all teams did to their best which showed us that as the mines we are moving forward in first aid measures,” he added. BIUST vice chancellor, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo said mining was a highly regulated industry with strict safety standards.

“Mining is a risky business both in terms of human life and safety terms as well as in terms of investments. For this reason, among others, the Botswana Mines, Quarries, Works and Machinery Act requires all mining houses to provide a certain minimum standard of first aid training” he said.



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