Target: South Africa Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodl
Goal: Prevent the construction of a coal mine near Africa’s oldest nature reserve
Hluhluwe-iMfolzi Park is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. It is well known for its diverse, rich wildlife and conservation efforts as well as having the largest population of white rhinos in the world. The reservation has been breeding the species back from the brink of extinction, increasing the population from only 20 rhinos worldwide in 1900 to about 10,000 today. However, these white rhinos and the park’s wildlife are under attack by recent plans to construct an open-cast coal mine less than 50 yards away. Park rangers are afraid that the coal mine will destroy the reserve’s wildlife and make it easier for poachers, who have slaughtered about 400 rhinos in South Afraid this year so far, to access the rhinos.
Rhinos will not be the only ones affected. Local communities were unaware of the government’s plans to build this coal mine but are now fighting back. They refuse to be relocated and need help to stop their homes and land from being cleared away for the sake of the coal mine. Locals also complain that their houses crack due to the blasting of coal out of the earth. Ndimande, a Zulu community leader in Fuleni who strongly protests the mine’s construction, states, “When they [miners] are blasting on that side, the dust travels here. Here we are living with asthmatic people and the dust has an effect on them. Our cattle drink the toxic from that side and die. Now they are preparing to mine the grazing land of our cattle.” According to ecologist Roger Porter, other animals such as crocodiles have been documented to be rendered incapable of breeding due to mine blasting effects, and tremors will impact the elephants’ ability to “hear” through their feet.
Sign this petition to put a stop to the construction of the destructive coal mine that will disrupt the wildlife and local community of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
Dear Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodl,
It is shocking to me that you would even consider constructing a coal mine right on the border of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, a beautiful reserve renowned for its conservation efforts for many years. The coal mine will threaten and harm the world’s largest rhino sanctuary when the white rhino population is already suffering from poachers. Not only will the rhinos be negatively impacted, but the local community will lose their homes and land as well.
You are in a position of power to stop plans for this coal mine from progressing any further. I urge you to overturn this plan and protect the park from the threat of coal mines in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pierre Blouch via Wikimedia