Phalombe Fertilizer Plant in Limbo
Communities around Thundulu Phosphate mine in Phalombe have faulted the OPTICHEM 2000 Limited for failure to establish a fertilizer plant pledged under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in 2013.
Chairperson for Chiwalo Community Action Group (CAG), Felix Kamwendo, told Zodiak Online on Monday that the company’s failure to honor its pledge is a big blow since people around the area had high prospects of getting jobs and easy access to fertilizer through the establishment a depot.
Kamwendo said after mining phosphate for close to eight years in the area, the group summoned the company where they pledged to establish a fertilizer plant at Thundulu hill.
"The company further pledged to rehabilitate the Migowi- Nambazo road, donate medical drugs to Nambazo Health Centre once per year, but it only donated once," said Kamwendo.
He added that communities are worried that two years have elapsed since the company stopped mining activities with only four workers on site.
However, Production Manager for OPTIC HEM 2000 Limited, Samuel Snoden, referred us to the company’s managing director, Bobby Singh, who asked for more time before commenting on the development.
In 2016, a grouping of disgruntled community members blocked trucks transporting raw materials from the area to the company’s headquarters in Blantyre, adding that the company’s contribution to the community is minimal than what was pledged.