Union wants better working conditions for miners

The confederation of trade unions in the country– Centrale des syndicats des travailleurs du Rwanda (CESTRAR) – wants employers to improve the working conditions of miners countrywide. Gaspard Mpakanyi, the official in charge of mining at CESTRAR, says more needs to be done to address the three main challenges, poor training, lack of equipment, and disrespecting the rights of miners.
Workers at a mining facility in Gatumba, Ngororero District. The workers' union has called for better treatment of miners. The New Times File.
Workers at a mining facility in Gatumba, Ngororero District. The workers' union has called for better treatment of miners. The New Times File.

The confederation of trade unions in the country– Centrale des syndicats des travailleurs du Rwanda (CESTRAR) – wants employers to improve the working conditions of miners countrywide.

Gaspard Mpakanyi, the official in charge of mining at CESTRAR, says more needs to be done to address the three main challenges, poor training, lack of equipment, and disrespecting the rights of miners.

 “These are, basically, the three types of problems in the mining sector. There is still a lot that needs to be done to improve miners’ working conditions. I have visited many in the country and it is clear that they all have problems,” Mpakanyi said.

“In Muhanga, for example, they used old equipment which exposed workers to accidents,” he said.

Meanwhile, over a week ago, Muhanga District officials suspended activities of a local coltan mining cooperative (Comar) after 11 children were found to be working in the mines.

The district officials also discovered that Comar lacked proper mining license and posed a danger to the environment.

At least eight people were arrested.

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