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Mapping Open Pits in Chiadzwa Mining Area

12 November 2021

Compiled by Shawn Kusena

There have been many reports about open pits that have been left by legal and illegal mining activities in the Marange diamond fields. It is no secret that open-cast mining changes geological, hydrological and geotechnical conditions. It influences the existing ecological system and landscape. Open pits are a concern as they pose real and potential threats to human and wildlife safety and health, as well as environmental damages. Rehabilitation programs usually require huge fund amounts, and as Chiadzwa youths we ought to participate in the gully reclamation programs in our community for the best interest of our environment.

Fig 1

Fig 1 above is an image of an open pit recently left by a mining company. Pits can cause several health problems such as malaria (open pits contains stagnant water), and unsafe structures that can cause unstable conditions in that area resulting in several accidents.

Fig 1a

  • Fig 1a above shows the satellite geographical location of the image on fig 1. These pits happen to be located about 19o35’57.5 and 32o20’22.4 south and east respectively of both Chiadzwa Primary and Secondary Schools, an estimate of about 500 meters from the schools. Children are at great danger of falling in the pits on their way to and from school which might cause serious injuries or rather even death at large, and as well as danger to livestock. Children may jump into these pits to play in some of these pits which contain water and some may contain some chemicals harmful to humans as well as livestock. These chemicals can also cause diseases such as bilharzia and skin diseases to children.
  • Deforestation, unrehabilitated mining pits containing stagnant water bodies as is on the images shown above and other mining related activities are known to promote the proliferation of the female anopheles’ mosquitoes responsible for most of the malaria cases. Therefore, the residents of Chiadzwa community are at higher risk of being exposed to malaria, and it’s a result of mining in the area.
  • However, some of the pit holes (as shown in the images below) are as a result of artisanal miners coming from all over the country. Tight law enforcement should be practiced reducing illegal mining activities for the safety of dwellers of Chiadzwa community, especially children and the environment at large.

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