The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB) has announced guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 amongst employees in the mining sector and any other person they come into contact with.
The guidelines outline adequate tunnel ventilation, de-densification, screening and testing mechanisms. Mining companies are also required to put in place tracing programmes, allow workers to work in shifts and provide relevant PPE among others.
Rwanda employs about 100 000 people in the mining sector.
The guidelines were developed following consultations with stakeholders and in line with existing covid-19 measures as set by the government of Rwanda.
“We request mining and quarry operators to act in accordance with these guidelines.We want to ensure that they are protected from infection in the workplace, and this will also help the community where they live. This virus is deadly but the good news is that it’s preventable.” said Hon. Francis Gatare, CEO of RMB.
Quick-win measures in the pipeline
The guidelines also stipulate mining and quarry owners have to put in place risk assessment mechanisms to identify any risk or hazard to the safety and health in the mining activities.
The guidelines support the country’s existing mining safety code of practice. Next week, RMB plans to unveil quick-win measures to manage covid-19 impact on the mining sector.