BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has pleaded with artisanal miners to rehabilitate land after engaging in mining activities to prevent ecological degradation.
Matabeleland South EMA provincial director Decent Ndlovu encouraged miners to reintegrate land and not leave open pits after carrying out mining activities.
“We encourage miners to rehabilitate land, be it legal or illegal miners because whenever they leave pits unattended, it becomes a serious threat to people and livestock,” Ndlovu said.
Ndlovu said they usually apply the law to legal artisanal miners whenever they dig pits and leave them unattended.
“We always bring legal artisanal miners to book whenever they engage in their activities leaving pits all over. We always urge them to adhere to regulations or else the law will catch up on them,” he said.
Ndlovu also bemoaned the use of chemicals by miners which destroy the ecosystems.
“The ecosystems has been destroyed by chemicals that flow to water systems which is not good for creatures which live in those water bodies,” he said.
According to a 2015 research paper titled Artisanal Small-scale Mining: Potential Ecological disaster in Mzingwane District, artisanal mining has devastating impacts on the environment.
“These environmental impacts are a result of destructive mining, wasteful mineral extraction and processing practices and techniques used by the artisanal small-scale miners,” the research findings read in part.
Artisanal mining sustains the livelihood of thousands of people in Zimbabwe directly and indirectly through ancillary services and secondary economic activities.
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