Home » General » EMA Decries Pollution By Midlands Miners

THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Midlands province has expressed concern at the level of pollution caused by both small and large scale miners dotted around the region.

EMA provincial manager, Onesimo Bhasera told NewZimbabwe.com that more than 1,000 miners in the Midlands were among the biggest culprits when it comes to polluting the environment.

Apart from discharging harmful substances like cyanide and mercury into water bodies, the miners were also engaging in activities that degraded the environment.

“We have about 1,200 both large and small, scale miners in the province and these are causing havoc through environmental pollution,” Bhasera said.

“In Kwekwe alone there are 600-plus polluting miners with the rest spread across the province.”

During a recent environmental media tour, provincial information and publicity officer, Timothy Nyoka told journalists that a local indigenous mining company, Chizim, had to be fined $5 000 after it was discovered they were carrying out mining activities on the Guinea Fowl River bed.

Nyoka said the company paid $4,000 and disappeared before rehabilitating the land they had degraded.

“Their nefarious actions caused heavy land degradation and the siltation of Runde River,” Nyoka said.

Nyoka also said a firm owned by a Chinese company, Galechka Investments, has degraded Madzimudhaka River in Shurugwi through alluvial mining of gold, destroying irrigation schemes downstream.

A snap survey carried out by NewZimbabwe.com on Shurugwi escarpment revealed un-rehabilitated deep pits spreading all over as a defining feature because of illegal gold panning activities.

In Kwekwe there are fears that some parts of the Central Business District and residential areas could collapse into disused tunnels that run underneath the city caused by gold panners.

“Such land degradation and pollution has become a national cancer and needs urgent attention,” said Bhasera.

Source : New Zimbabwe