Mashudu Netsianda,Senior Reporter
AN eight-year-old girl from Hwange is battling for life at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo after she accidentally fell into a coal ash disposal site belonging to the Hwange Colliery Company (HCC) resulting in her sustaining life-threatening burns.
The girl, Alisha Mazwiti from Makwika village, had gone to the bush with her siblings where they intended to relieve themselves when she fell into the underground coal fire.
The victim sustained severe burns on both legs.
The girl’s mother, Mrs Ethel Yenzani Ncube said the incident occurred on Monday afternoon.
“I left my two children including Alisha in the custody of my younger sisters as I went to take a bath. After finishing, I discovered that Alisha was not in the house and later learnt that they had gone to a nearby bush with my 16-year-old sister to relieve themselves since we have a challenge of water in Hwange,” she said.
Mrs Ncube said she later heard her daughter’s friend who had accompanied them to the bush screaming saying Alisha had fallen into an underground coal fire.
“We know that there are so many coal ash disposal sites around but we were not aware that at that particular place there were also there,” she said.
Mrs Ncube said she alerted her husband who rushed to the scene and took the child to hospital.
“I was terrified and followed my husband to the colliery hospital where my daughter was put on drip before she was later transferred to St Patricks Hospital.”
Mrs Ncube said they were told to buy jelly which was supposed to be applied to the burns.
She said they had to run around to look for money for an ambulance to Bulawayo which cost them US$200.
The family is now struggling to raise money for the medical requirements and is appealing for assistance
“We are now appealing for money to meet the medical costs and anyone will to assist can contact us on 0785 437 185 or send money via Ecocash on that same number,” said Mrs Ncube.
Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive office Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said the injuries were life threatening.
He said escharotomy (a surgical procedure used to treat full-thickness circumferential burn) to relieve pressure in the lower limbs has been done.
“Further treatments and procedures may be necessary depending on the clinical course of the condition of the patient. These are life-threatening severe burn injuries and as a hospital we are trying our best to help the victim,” he said. — @mashnets