By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –
THE Federation of Small-Scale Mining Association of Zambia (FSSMAZ) has received a grant worth about K150, 000 from the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) to help build capacity for the women in mining.
FSSMAZ president Gertrude Phiri said generally, small-scale miners face serious financial constraints that had hindered their progress in sustainable development.
Ms Phiri said the federation had received about K150, 000 from the NGOCC to support the small-scale women in mining as this would help reduce challenges such as the lack of equipment.
“NGOCC has given us a grant of about K150, 000 meant for training and capacity building for small-scale women in mining and I will ensure that the resources are used for its intended purpose,” Ms Phiri said.
Speaking during the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) meeting in Chisamba yesterday, Ms Phiri said it had been quite difficult for the women involved in the gemstone sector, to process rough stones into finished products.
“The funds will be used to buy equipment to be used by our members aimed at supporting the growth of the industry and I would like to assure NGOCC that the grant will be used for capacity building.”
She said the federation had set a deliberate policy to provide training to women who are interested in joining the gemstone sector.
“We are going to embark on a countrywide programme by identifying women who are interested in getting into gemstone mining and engage the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Water Development and as well as ZCCM-Investment Holdings,” Ms Phiri said.
She said the federation had partnered with Swedish geological survey through the meeting so that it can work closely with ZCCM-IH.