Shurugwi – The major environmental concern in Shurugwi is by far illegal mining activities that are leaving dangerous disused mine shafts and chemical spillages that poison both plants and animals.
The Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Mangaliso Ndlovu promised to tighten laws that protect the environment and make sure that anyone who violates them will face the full wrath of the law.
Ndlovu said this at a belated World Environment Day commemorations held at Musasa Primary School under Chief Nhema in Shurugwi on Monday last week. The commemorations were held under the theme ‘One Earth, One World’.
Ndlovu told stakeholders including parents, school children, civil servants and traditional leaders that they were the guardians of their environment and they had an obligation to monitor it and help in stopping illegal mining.
Ndlovu put it clear to the public that Joint Operation Command (JOC) members in the Midlands Province will join with EMA to tighten the law to those who will be caught practicing illegal mining.
“Illegal mining has damaged the land in Shurugwi and the Ministry is committed to ensure that all the degraded land is rehabilitated and put to good use. This land is our life hence we need to use it to transform our livelihoods through the good use of it. Those found violating environment laws will face the full wrath of the law. Let’s work together towards building a good environment,” said Ndlovu.
Massive land degradation caused by illegal mining has resulted in villagers losing their fields, domestic animals and people trapped in open pits.
Chief Nhema who also attended the commemorations urged EMA get tough with violators of environmental laws.
“The situation is such a mess that our grandchildren are only going to inherit open pits and contaminated water in the rivers. Water found in Mutevekwi River is no longer safe to drink even for animals. You also can’t use the water for washing clothes or for irrigation purposes. We lost animals and even human life to these disused mines,” said Chief Nhema.