By Wahard Betha
The Nest Foundation, one of Malawi’s nonprofit organizations, has organized nationwide training sessions for artisanal and small scale miners (ASMs) that will take place in the country’s major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Speaking in an interview with Mining and Trade Review, Programs Manager for The Nest Foundation Gloria Gwaza said they will start holding the mining training sessions in Blantyre at Hub Center on April 4 2020 before conducting them in Lilongwe and Mzuzu on the dates to be announced.
Gwaza said the Foundation was prompted to host the trainings as one way of spearheading their core agenda of empowering vulnerable ASMs in the country.
“The Nest Foundation organized the training in order to empower people in the mining field and expose them to the mining business so that their economic and social status can be improved,” Gwaza said.
She stressed that the mining trainings will impart vital skills and information to ASMs to help boost their business.
Areas that Nest Foundation is targeting includes: development minerals; introduction to colored stones; gem identification; gemstone grading; and gemstone marketing.
Gwaza said the body has also invited officials from Mines Department to brief the people on how they can be certified as ASMs.
She urged local ASMs and those interested in the business; and organizations which are promoting the sector to take part in the training which will draw various experts in the mining field.
The Nest foundation is a nonprofit organization that equips communities with skills, training and knowledge for community empowerment; deals with different forms of vulnerability; looks into issues of education, sanitation and hygiene; and helps the country in eradication of power problems.
ASMs in the country are crying foul over lack of support and market for their mining products including aquamarine, clear quartz, rose quartz, and mica.
In a separate interview, President for Malawi Women in Mining (MAWIMA) Emma Adam pleaded for immediate action by the government to establish an organised market for gemstones.
“We urge the government to establish a market centre for auctioning gemstones and to simplify licensing procedures for ASMS in order to facilitate participation of more women in the subsector,” she said.