The long-term vision is safe, well-managed ASM sites
With this first first-aid session successfully concluded, CMDS will continue to monitor how miners react in real-life scenarios, hoping that the newly learnt skills will result in safer responses. Refresher training in the coming months will serve to instill these practices and techniques further, with the vision that a larger number of workers can benefit from structured training moving forward.
At the end of the training, the participants were very appreciative of the initiative. They requested that these kinds of training be organized on a regular basis and said they found it eye opening and valuable. “We have learned a lot today,” one of the miners, Walter Nunga (pictured above), a digger at Kamilombe since 2016 said. “We have learned how to manage and save an injured person, how to do CPR, how to transport them to the hospital, and more. I think after today I will be able to save someone. I am also ready to share and communicate what I’ve learned today with others.” Another digger, Edmond Kabela, commented that, had they known what to do and what not to do in the past, he was sure that lives could have been saved.
First-aid training, however, is just a first small step towards more professional mine site governance moving forward. “After this training…. we want FCA to be our partner to support us with training to strengthen our capacity in occupational health and safety”, the president of the diggers said. As the new national and provincial government articulates its vision for the ASM cobalt sector, CMDS and FCA plan how to invest in enhanced mine site infrastructure, excavating topsoil to reduce tunnel depth, introducing appropriate safety gear for individual workers, more efficient equipment, and a more structured site governance to transform ASM sites like Kamilombe into a safe and dignified work environment.