Target: President of South Africa Jacob Zuma
Goal: Prevent the opening of a coal mine in a crucial white rhino habitat
In South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal province is home to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. It is a natural oasis that supports lions, leopards, and 300 distinct bird species. It is considered one of the best white rhino sanctuaries in the world, and is also the oldest protected wilderness areas in Africa. However, this pristine oasis is threatened by Ibutho Coal, a mining company that wishes to open a colliery 40 miles from the park’s boundaries. The pollutants from this operation could potentially harm the wildlife in the area, particularly the white rhinos.
In the 1980s, the white rhinos in Africa were almost hunted to extinction, and the last remaining rhinos took refuge in this park. After careful nurturing and protections were laid out around the park, it is estimated that there are now 2,000 rhinos living in the region. The opencast mine will take up 36,099 acres of land, and will pollute the air and rivers, displace local communities, and quicken the extinction of these rhinos. Many are concerned that the vast, flat savannah will be turned into a wasteland filled with mounds of dirt and pollutants. The number of mines in South Africa has risen from 993 in 2004, to 1,579 in 2012, leaving large black gaping holes in this beautiful landscape.
The Zulu communities are concerned that the lions and rhinos will go extinct because of coal mining companies. They state they will probably be the last ones to see a wild lion or rhino before they disappear completely from the planet, and this thought deeply saddens them. The dust and noise from the coal mining operations travel to their communities, polluting their waters and food sources, and aggravating their lungs. Livestock who drink the polluted water die, and their dogs, goats, and chickens wander into areas where the toxic dust has been laid down.
Ibutho Coal has no right to jeopardize the lives of these people and the surrounding wildlife. There are plenty of coal mines in South Africa, and they should not have the right to encroach on a pristine park. The rhinos were nearly wiped out and it could happen again thanks to pollution. Urge the President of South Africa to prevent the opening of this coal mine to save the white rhinos.
Dear President Zuma,
I recently heard about Ibutho Coal’s intention of opening a coal mine near the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. This natural oasis provides life and sustenance to all who live in the area, and this company wants to open a mine just 40 miles outside of the park’s boundaries. The pollutants and dust kicked up by this operation would put local residents and wildlife in danger.
I urge you to prevent the opening of this mine. White rhinos were nearly hunted to extinction, and this mine could put them at risk once more. This mine also puts the lives of human beings in danger, as many are becoming asthmatic from the dust. For the welfare of your people and the wildlife, please shut down this operation immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Coralie via Wikimedia Commons