National Environment Management Council. Alumna of Mine Closure workshop in Tanzania, March 2017
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role?
My name is Edika Masisi. I am a geologist and environmental hydrologist, working as a Senior Environmental Management Officer at the National Environment Management Council in Tanzania. I’m in a Directorate of Environmental Impact Assessment that deals with screening and reviewing reports related to mining and energy sectors, as well as inspecting and auditing related facilities (mining industry included).
What are the most pressing mine closure-related issues currently in Tanzania? How did the CIRDI workshop help address some of those issues?
Tanzania as a country did not have experience in mine closure issues until recently when some of the mines started closing. Almost all regulatory bodies did not have capacity to handle mine closure issues. Only one gold mining project has been properly decommissioned so far.
At the workshop we learned about decommissioning practices elsewhere around the globe and also had the opportunity to share our own experience through MTL, so it helped the participants to deepen the understanding of mine closure and to develop diverse alternatives of mine closure.
What difference has this training made in your professional life? Has it prompted any concrete changes in your work?
The knowledge obtained at the workshop gave me more confidence when reviewing the mine decommissioning plans submitted to our office for improvement before providing recommendations to the Minister for certification.
How has your perception of mine closure issues changed after hearing international experts? Were there any surprising discoveries?
I had ideas of what it meant but I was lacking the feel of it, so learning from experienced people and discussing real life examples/practices of how it is done elsewhere provided additional knowledge and a good kick-start towards improvement.
At the six months’ mark, what do you see as the most valuable lesson?
The most valuable lesson is strengthening management of decommissioning fund, restricting its use to mine closure activities only. Another important achievement is having personnel with enough technical know-how to guide the development of mine closure alternatives.
I thank the international experts for the knowledge and practical experience they shared with us.