Gold panning leaves Shurugwi farmers without water


Shurugwi – Farmers in the Masasa area in Ward 18 in Shurugwi are desperate and have appealed to the District Development Co-ordinator (DDC) Langton Mupeta to remove gold panners from Mutekwi River which has dried up due to siltation.

The farmers are heavily dependent on the river for their drip irrigation activities and they supply farm produce to the town of Shurugwi.

The affected farmers are over 40 in number and the affected area stretches about 45 km of the length of the river. The farmers gathered at the DDC’s offices for an audience with him last week.

Mupeta confirmed the matter to the Mirror and said he had since taken up the issue with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Police. He accused illegal gold panners of causing sleepless nights to the people of Shurugwi through untold land degradation including destroying roads and rivers.

“Farmers came to my office and appealed for help to remove illegal gold miners from Mutevekwi River where they get water for drip irrigation. The river is drying up because of siltation and if we ignore this problem production of vegetables from the area will be completely lost.

“We know no peace in Shurugwi because of these illegal miners. In May they dug a tunnel underneath Boterekwa Highway thereby pausing grave danger to the lives of travelers. A number of the miners were arrested but since then the State has had to keep an eye on that section of the road because these miners may come again,” said Mupeta.

“Right now farmers came to my office appealing for help to drive them away from Mutevekwi River where they get water to irrigate their plants. Mutevekwi River is almost dry because illegal miners have caused siltation and if we ignore the issue the daily supply of vegetables will go down. The farmers have to be protected,” added Mupeta.

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