CCJP New Project to Strengthen Women’s Voice in Reducing Poverty and Inequalities
By Tawonga Chisale
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) under the Diocese of Karonga has launched a new project which is aimed at empowering women to reduce poverty and inequalities in extractive governance in the district.
The new project is called Women’s Voice Against Poverty and Inequalities is being funded by Southern Africa Trust (SAT) and will be implemented at Mpata mining sites under Group Village Headman Mwenenguwe and Paulos.
Speaking in an interview, the organization’s Project Officer Vincent Bwinga said they have thought it wise to implement this project in the district because it has lot of mining sites which usually leave women as victims of circumstances as their voices are not heard.
“We have a lot of minerals being extracted such as coal mine, uranium and copper. Most of the times women are being left behind and voicing out their concerns is a challenge. We, therefore, would like to reduce the gap between these two genders,” Bwinga said.
“The new project will allow women to be heard by duty bearers and investors so that issues surrounding mining concerning women and communities should be resolved mostly through the voice of women,” Bwinga further said.
In a separate interview, one of the community members Christina Ngonga welcomed the development saying it will allow their voice to be heard by authorities in mining sector as and in turn spark development in their communities.
“We are very delighted with the initiative that CCJP has brought to our area because we have suffered a lot especially those working in mining sites as far as health status and environmental rights are concerned.
“We expect that mining investors will be doing the following; offering employment opportunities to community members, construct good roads and health facilities which are a great challenge in this area,” Ngonga said.
Ngonga further expressed the women’s commitment and readiness to work with CCJP under the new project to reduce the problems they are facing and spur development in their area.
Commenting on the matter, Project Manager for Kasikizi Coal Mine, Vijey Sekhar said they are ready to work with CCJP and communities to spearhead development in the area and reduce poverty. He further said that, as mine owners, they will also make sure that the well-being of mine workers and community members is fully protected.