(Mon - Sat)
Eastlea Harare

Mining Brings Disruption to Goromonzi Farmers

Goromonzi horticultural farmers say mining activities being undertaken by Platinum Lithium Zimbabwe (PLZ) has brought significant disruption to their daily lives.

This emerged during a listening meeting conducted by Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) at Yafeli Village, Ward 17 Goromonzi District. Small-scale horticultural farmers said the district normally receives good rainfall, even in drought seasons, as it is under region 2, but now due in part to alleged environmental degradation by the mining company, they believe the district is now in region 4. Participants also spoke on the disruption to the agricultural value chain, as the PLZ is drawing significant amounts of water from the local dams for their ore extraction operations, with one local water body Nero Dam already having been depleted.

Other challenges affecting communities of Wards 13, 16 and 17 were safety  concerns for school going children, owing to speeds of trucks ferrying lithium ore, rise in accommodation prices, gender discrimination in employment opportunities, use of locals for hazardous tasks such as chemical handling, poor and unsafe working conditions, lack of job security, as most of the locals are on short-term contracts, lack of infrastructure at the market place nearest to the mine, rise in child prostitution at Majuru growth point where some of the truck drivers park, and a rise in cases of poultry thefts by locals who then sell to mine employees. Residents said they are living in dread of demolitions of their properties following a circular from Goromonzi Rural District Council (GRDC) circular that any houses constructed without express authority from Council would be demolished.

It is however not entirely doom and gloom for communities, as they say that they now have a ready market for their products due to the mining operations, homeowners are also benefitting from the increased demand for accommodation, youth employment that has helped reducing incidents of drug and substance abuse.

Community members urged VISET to ensure that solution-holders such as the Goromonzi Rural District Council, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), PLZ management, and traditional leaders are part of the scheduled stakeholder engagement to find lasting solutions to issues raised.

Leave A Comment