Mining chiefs call for more First Aid education
Botswana Ash (Botash) held a successful Inter-mines First Aid Competitions in Sowa Town last Saturday.
13 teams from different mines across the country tested their reaction time to accidents in front of adoring fellow miners and judges.
After 10 grueling hours, and impressive performances from most teams, Jwaneng Mine were crowned Champions, taking the title from defending champs, Lucara mine.
In his welcome remarks, Botash Managing Director (MD), Kangangwani Phatshwane said even in the world of digitalization, first aid remains the key to limiting harm, preserving life and promoting quick recoveries.
Phatshwane said it was commendable to see the local mining sector investing so whole-heartedly in first aid.
“The rationale for the mining sector’s investment in first aid, therefore transcends the needs of the sector to the greater public benefit of higher levels of first aid skills in our population,” Phatshwane said.
The Botash MD further revealed that across Southern Africa, 8 in 10 people have no first aid skills, and emphasised the need to improve this figure through education.
He further commended Botswana Power Corporation, Botswana Red Cross and Motor Vehicle Fund, who are key institutional stakeholders in the prevention of harm, for taking part in this year’s competition.
These sentiments were shared by Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Charles Siwawa.
In his remarks, Siwawa said since the mining industry is intrinsically an unsafe environment, it was everyone’s duty to turn it into a safe place.
Siwawa said it was incumbent to everyone to learn first aid and be in a position to apply basic skills to save lives.
“In the mining industry 30 percent of employees should have first aid skills,” he said.
The BCM CEO said the inter-mines competitions, which started in 1982, are important as teams demonstrate who can quickly and rightfully apply first aid skills.
He also commended MVA, Red Cross, BPC and the Department of Road, Transport and Safety (DRTS) for taking part.
“These are partnerships we encourage to spread the first aid message,” Siwawa said.
Giving a keynote address, Deputy Director-Ministry of Minerals and Energy, Hossia Chimbombi said the annual event should be a benchmark and a trademark for other sectors in the country.
He implored management from all the mines not to leave young miners behind but equip them with first aid skills upon employment.
“I challenge the mining sector to take first aid to the next level, where we infuse it into the educational sector for early childhood learners. Let first aid penetrate the entire nation and all sectors,” Chimbombi said.