By Martin Mawaya
Informal gold and chrome mining in the Midlands province has left a trail of environmental destruction and land degradation, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) revealed.
According to the statistics released by EMA, 6128.28 hectrage of land has been destroyed from gold mining activities, while total land degradation from chrome mining in the province stands at 5036.34 hectares.
EMA Provincial manager Benson Baser said more than five districts severely affected by the land degradation.
“The land degradation caused by gold and chrome mining activities were recorded in Gweru, Zvishavane, Kwekwe, Chirumanzu, Mberengwa, Gokwe North and South.
“Shurugwi has the highest hectrage of land destroyed by gold mining activities with a total of 2335.35 hectares being affected, while Chirumanzu recorded 1386 hectares lost to chrome mining activities,” he said.
The figures shows that land degradation by gold mining in Kwekwe destroyed 1858 hectares, Mberengwa 973 hectares, Zvishavane 647 hectares, Gweru 120 hectares, Chirumanzu 56 hectares as well as 70 and 68 hectares for Gokwe North and South respectively.
Chrome mining in Shurugwi saw 1129.05 of hectrage Lost, Zvishavane 1127.79, Kwekwe 832.42, Mberengwa 511.08 and Gweru lost 50 hectares
Poor environmental management systems as well as ineffective policy implementations are some of the key causes of land degradation in the province.