Keorapetse urges mines to protect environment


SELEBI-PHIKWE: The Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse has called on mining companies to come up with strategies that protects environment from negative effects of mining activities.

Speaking at the National Clean Up the World commemoration recently, Keorapetse said the acid produced at BCL Mine during smelting has negatively affected the environment. 

He said the environment here is no longer attractive as trees have been badly affected. He also pointed out that nowadays, it was difficult for residents of the mining town to plant fruit trees and plants in their homes as they end up dying due to the acid coming out of the smelter. “Mining should not affect the environment.  It is high time mines come up with strategies that will ensure the environment is not badly affected,” he said. He added that one of the measures that mines could use to protect the environment is by rehabilitating the environment. Keorapetse said the rehabilitation is crucial as it will ensure that natural resources like trees do not perish.

He also said mines could also benefit from decommissioned shafts. “Decommissioned shafts can be turned into tourism attraction sites.  Mines should consider this as another way of recycling,” he advised, adding that Corporate Social Investment law should also be introduced. Keorapetse said the law would encourage businesses to rehabilitate the environment as it will urge those companies to contribute to a clean environment.

He pleaded with government to assist councils with necessary equipment that is needed to ensure that the environment is clean.

He said the Selebi-Phikwe Town Council (SPTC) still lacks money and equipment to ensure that the town is kept clean.  “SPTC lacks money and equipment that they require to clean the environment; the government should help councils with money and equipment,” he said.

He, however, applauded SPTC for keeping the town clean despite the challenges they face due to lack of funding.

The National Clean Up the World commemoration is an annual event in Botswana that has been held since 1994.

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