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Illegal mining destroying vast tracks of land in the country

by Stephen Jakes
28 Oct 2015 at 07:29hrs | Views
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has complained that illegal mining has destroyed vast tracks of land in the country.

"My Ministry is cognisant of the fact that illegal mining is a major driver of land degradation because it does not operate within the confines of the law, hence it tends to overexploit common resources without the necessary rehabilitation," she said.

"This has seen the destruction of approximately 10 000ha in mineral rich Provinces of Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North and Masvingo. My Ministry, through EMA has carried out a total of 1002 routine monitoring inspections in the Third Quarter of 2015 and 193 illegal miners have been prosecuted, 93 restoration orders issued and 3 dockets opened."

Muchinguri Kashiri said to complement the enforcement efforts, environmental education and awareness programmes have been carried out to raise awareness of illegal miners through small scale miners associations.

"This is a regular and continuous process because of the nomadic nature of these illegal miners. They are highly mobile and normally move to mineral rich areas leaving their previous workings not rehabilitated. Such awareness programmes have seen an attempt of regularisation of illegal mining activities in areas such as Ingwizi, Matabeleland South and Mukaradzi in Mashonaland Central," she said.

She said it has been noted that in some instances, communities engage in illegal mineral extraction due to poverty.

"My Ministry is therefore, providing alternative livelihoods through the support of 239 community projects such as small grains production, wetland protection and consolidated gardens, apiculture, agroforestry among others," Muchinguri Kashiri said.

"My Ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in order to organise small scale miners into mining syndicates. It is expected that this approach will ensure sustainable mineral extraction and minimise land degradation."

Source - Byo24News

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