PICTURES:Chinese Miners Destroy Farms in Shurugwi
Shurugwi – Several hundreds of villagers from Shurugwi have crossed swords with the Chinese mining company after the foreigners vowed to resist the Environmental management agency eviction. directive.
A local farmer near the affected Manzimudhaka River, Tinos Chiputu (30) told journalists at a media tour that foreigners should not be treated in any way better than the locals who have been ordered out of these areas.
“The Chinese have been told to leave. We have removed our locals whom we called illegal panners and no one should be treated as superior to us citizens. The illegal Chinese Companies responsible for the pollution and massive destruction of our farming land must compensate farmers whose cattle have died after drinking water from polluted rivers,” he said.
Concerns have been raised by local farmers that the illegal gold mining activities were destroying the country’s water bodies and farming fields, while the chemicals used, particularly in the mining of gold, posed grave danger to both humans and livestock.
“All the people mining alluvial along local rivers have been evicted. It loosens the soil and results in siltation of rivers,” said The Environment Management Agency (EMA) ’s Environment Impact Assessment and Ecosystem Protection Officer, Phanuel Mangisi.
Another local famer who Hussein Tsvati echoed the same sentiments adding that the environment is the next generation’s heritage hence should be jealously safeguarded.
“Generations must enjoy the rivers. It is our responsibility to protect them. We learnt with utter dismay about the abuse in Manzimudhaka and other rivers across the district,’’ said Tsvati.
EMA’s Provincial spokesperson Timothy Nyoka said the position of his company is clear on what needs to be done adding that miners must carry out the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures.
“EMA would continuously summon some of the Chinese mining companies operating illegally in the Midlands Province for breaching environmental laws willy-nilly,’’ Nyoka said.
Nyoka was answering questions from journalists touring the area yesterday on whether the unlicenced Chinese nationals were being treated as special investors who were mining along the Shurugwi river banks and other rivers across the Province without the need for an environmental impact assessment.