By Deo Wasswa
Over 1000 miners in Harugongo, Kabarole District under their umbrella association, Pozzolana Miners Transporters and Drivers Association will benefit directly from a new partnership with Hima Cement and the local artisanal mining community.
This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the cement manufacturer and the local miners’ association with the aim of re-establishing the supply of pozzolana to the Hima plant by the mining community.
Pozzolana is a natural siliceous and aluminum material used in the manufacture of cement.
The beneficiaries include miners, loaders and drivers who will deliver pozzolana to the Hima Cement factory in Kasese.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held in Kabarole, Hima Cement Chief Executive Officer, Nicolas George emphasized that the partnership is important because it will empower the locals financially by strengthening household incomes.
“We are proud to sign this MOU today because what is important for Hima Cement is that the local communities benefit directly from this partnership. What we request is that the highest standards of health and safety are maintained so that people are safe at all times. The quarry therefore must be fenced and only accessible to people working as miners and loaders,” he said.
Julius Byamukama, the Chairman of the Association said the miners were committed to working closely with Hima to ensure that the terms and conditions stipulated in the agreement are respected.
“This is a step in the right direction for our members and we believe this agreement will be beneficial for both parties,” Byamukama said.
In attendance was the Kabarole Woman Member of Parliament, Sylvia Rwabogo and LC Five District Chairman, Richard Rwabuhinga who both commended Hima Cement for the initiative that will support poverty eradication by providing income earning opportunities for the community.
The Miners Association has over 1,000 members who work as miners, loaders and drivers.