EMA sets base in Umzingwane as illegal gold panning threatens water source

By Providence Maraneli

ILLEGAL mining activities have reduced the holding capacity of Mtshabezi dam, which is the major source of water for Esigodini area and Bulawayo.

Not only is Umzingwane District struggling with normal waste management but the extensive illegal mining activities have reduced the holding capacity of Mtshabezi dam which is the major source of water for both Bulawayo and Esigodini.

The local leadership is therefore expecting a lot from the environmental management agency (EMA), which has since set base in the district.

“We have a problem with illegal mining and it is threatening our water bodies, there is also farmer-miner conflict and this is the major source of our problems and we request that EMA be visible because it’s threatening our well-being,” said Brigadier General (Retired) Levy Mayihlome, Umzingwane Legislator.

“Today we witness the growth of Umzingwane, the construction of this office is part of devolution and national vision 2030, the protection of the environment as well as the sustainable utilization of our natural resources will also build towards the attainment of vision 2030,” said Honourable Abednico Ncube, Matabeleland south Minister of state for provincial affairs and devolution.

With the second republic pushing the devolution agenda, the government has promised to ensure equitable infrastructure development.

“I know that this district is renowned for its water resources and woody forests that support both domestic and wild animals making it ideal for ecotourism. It is also a farming haven for an array of both cash and food crops hence the clarion call to all of us to remain steadfast in the protection of the environment for the benefit of future generations,” said Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, tourism, climate and hospitality industry.

In a bid to ensure that the country manages its waste, the government has set aside the first Friday of every month as the national clean up day.