Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Work in Progress : Coal Brings Environmental Disaster

The Bench Marks Report on Mpumalanga Coal Mining described the terrible environmental disaster underway in this once green area, with rich soil and long rivers.

Two Community groups the SAGRC and MYACC are working hard on the ground, taking up very local issued to make force mining corporations to be accountable.

 SAGRC ( Southern African Green Revolution Council) Group

The SAGRC will continue a more focussed investigation on issues relating to water for domestic use. As members of the community they say that the water that is coming through their taps is not fit for drinking or cooking. Many residents have to buy water for drinking purposes and many more residents who cannot afford to buy water are forced to use this polluted water. The group through their research want to focus on specific areas, engage local residents in these areas about the problem,and find out in specific instances who is responsible for the polluted water that comes through their taps. This investigation they believe will help them identify the “culprits” responsible for this problem and would lay the basis to educate and organise the community to demand that the problem is resolved.

MYACC ( Mpumalanga Youth Against Climate Change) group

The MYACC group has begun a focussed investigation on the destruction of the wetlands that run past the KwaGuga community were they are based. From their own knowledge they know that the spruit that runs through the wetlands is polluted by sewage, diesel from trucks and from toxic waste from coal mines and iron and steel companies. Their investigation will include an analysis of the nature of the pollution and an identification of the root causes of this pollution and the “culprits” responsible. The groups sees this work as part of a process of bringing the community together to take control over the wetlands. This is important because the wetlands, aside from its environmental importance, also serves as resource for community gardens, a space for community recreation and is a place where religious groups conduct their rituals.