Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Safety Measures Must be Ensured for the Miners

People, from all walks of life, should have the same rights within a state. And, the government in the state must strive that those rights are guaranteed, and no one is left neglected. No field of life is unimportant or degrading; all have their importance and due place within a society, and a society develops when all these fields are developed and run by determined individuals.
Mining is one of the sectors that require arduous labor and the people working in this sector face a lot of difficulties and dangers. The miners have to take care of careful safety measures in order to ensure safe mining.
Afghanistan is one of the countries where mining sector is one of the most important sectors and there are great hopes and expectations from it. Afghan authorities and people believe that the sector can prove to be backbone of Afghan economy in the times to come. However, the miners working in this sector are not given their due rights and they face very thorny situation. There are no proper equipment and the safety measures are not taken care of; therefore, many miners lose their lives each year.
In one of such events on Tuesday, at least six miners lost their lives after they were exposed to methane gas inside a coal mine in northern Samangan province. Ahmad Ali Hassani, district governor of Dara Souf Bala, revealed that the miners lost their lives while they were busy on coal extraction in Chang Aab region, Dara Soup Bala district. They were residents of Daikundi province and their bodies were later submitted to their families, Hassani added.
It is unfortunate to note that neither the investors nor the workers have enough information or motivation regarding such measures. Primarily, it is the duty of investors and the owners of mine to ensure necessary arrangements. They are bound by law to do so, and they must try to follow it as strictly as possible. However, the owners of mines, mercilessly, use the energy of workers and pay no heed to their lives. Owners must understand that prevention is better than cure. Instead of giving monetary assistance to families of miners after their accidental death, equipment and preparations which can save the lives of workers should be arranged.
At the same time, it must not be forgotten that miners mostly belong to very poor families, and their families suffer serious consequences after any sort of accident. Thus, many lives are disturbed, and many social issues can erupt from such situations. Therefore, all precautionary measures must be ensured to avoid such accidents.
Government, on the other hand, must not forget its responsibilities. It needs to have strict inspections of mines and their arrangements. There must be penalties and punishments for insufficient safety measures, and no corruption must be tolerated in this regard. In certain cases, it has been noted that mine owners bribe the government officials so as to get clearance while their arrangements are in no way satisfactory. Unfortunately, the irresponsible and corrupt officials feel no humiliation in accepting bribes and paving the way for accidents and mishaps. 
Alongside the miners, investors and government, the miners themselves must be given enough awareness about their rights. They must bargain with the miner owners about their safety rights and refuse to work in the premises that they feel is not safe. Ultimately, it is their lives that have to be valued more than any other thing. The international and national organizations that claim to be performing their duties in this regard must also conduct awareness sessions and workshops for the miners so that they have complete awareness about safety measures and always ensure that they are followed before they start their work.
Mining will be one of the most important sectors in Afghanistan within its struggle to rely on its own economy and resources. Nevertheless, that requires untiring efforts to be developed since the very basic infra-structure is missing in this regard. If Afghan authorities are really interested in developing the mining sector and making it shoulder the weak Afghan economy, it must guarantee the rights of the miners. The human resource would be of significant importance in the uplift of the sector, and it must be given more attention than it is being given. From the construction of the transportation routes, to the excavation of mineral resources from the untouched reservoirs, it is going to be the strong and determined shoulders of the miners and other laborers that will make the difference. Keeping in consideration the level of unemployment, people will readily accept the challenge and will take part in such development works. The authorities, therefore, need to change their policies and create incentives for the working class; otherwise, making benefits out of mining would only remain only a dream.