THE rainy season is now upon us and as such most illegal mining pits are now a no-go area because they are now death traps.
Mining in these pits or disused mines during the rainy season is a very risky undertaking which must be avoided to save lives.
Those that continue mining in these pits or disused mines are therefore putting their lives at risk as most of these pits or disused mines collapse during the rainy season.
On Sunday two illegal gold miners died when a mine shaft they were working in collapsed trapping them at Interfar Mine in Matobo district, Matabeleland South province.
In order to save lives illegal panners working in open pits and those digging for gold in disused mines should suspend operations during the rainy season.
The country continues to lose lives in mining mishaps which could be avoided if those involved observe mining safety rules and regulations.
Most of the miners who are trapped in pits or disused mines are illegal gold panners who do not pay attention to safety rules and regulations.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has repeatedly warned miners to ensure they observe mining safety rules and regulations to avoid unnecessary loss of lives in mine accidents.
In May this year, seven miners at Bucks Mine in Colleen Bawn plunged to their death after hoisting ropes to a skip bringing them up a 240-metre deep shaft snapped 15 metres from the surface.
The skip then plunged to the bottom of the shaft killing all the seven miners.
It is such accidents that can be avoided by paying attention to safety rules and regulations.
Mining can transform people’s lives if it is done in a sustainable and safe way.
We are therefore calling on citizens to avoid putting their lives at risk by engaging in illegal and dangerous mining activities especially during the rainy season like now.
It is a fact that Zimbabwe is endowed with rich minerals which include, gold, platinum, chrome, iron and coal among others.
The challenge therefore is to ensure that even small-scale miners exploit these minerals in a sustainable and safe way.
The present generation has an obligation to bequeath these riches to future generations and this is only possible if the mining is sustainable.
The community leaders such as chiefs, headmen and councillors must ensure that those exploiting their natural resources such as minerals are doing it in a sustainable way and those that refuse to comply should not be allowed to mine.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the police should assist the local leadership to enforce strict mining rules and regulations. Mining activities should not just be safe but should also protect the environment.
Article Source: The Chronicle