Gold Panning in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">The City of Kwekwe is sustained by both formal and informal mining activities. As industry collapsed owing to a decade-long political crisis, thousands of workers formerly employed by collapsing mining companies and downstream industries turned to artisanal gold panning for survival. Gold panning requires plenty of water for processing of gold. Due to lack of capital and the unorganized nature of gold panning in Kwekwe, panners have turned to bizarre methods of processing gold. The Kwekwe City Council has raised an outcry that gold panners are deliberately blocking sewerage pipes and breaking water pipes in and around the city to access water for gold purification. The panners are also uprooting both indigenous trees and exotic trees planted by the Council as part of land reclamation. Gold panning in Kwekwe is controlled by a cartel of senior cabinet ministers and politicians who buy the gold from the panners. In January 2012 a new gold rush began in Kwekwe following the discovery of gold nuggets by local panners at Sherwood Park. ZANU PF provincial leaders immediately sealed the area and declared it a ZANU PF territory. Environmental Management Agency has been helpless in dealing with panners due to their affiliation to politicians. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Gold Panning in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/zimbabwe">Zimbabwe</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Midlands</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Kwekwe</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Deforestation<br /> Mineral processing</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/gold'>Gold</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">Gold panning is a clandestine activity that is criminalized in Zimbabwe. The exact value of the gold extracted may never be known</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>250000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>200,000 - 300,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/kwekwe-consolidated-gold-mines'>Kwekwe Consolidated Gold Mines</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/australia'><small>Australia</small></a> - <small> There are no official companies involved in artisanal mining in Kwekwe. </small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe National Water Authority , Minsitry of Local Government, Ministry of Tourism</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Environmental Management Agency, Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Kwekwe City Council, The Media</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>LATENT (no visible resistance)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Local government/political parties<br /> Kwekwe Town Council</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Arguments for the rights of mother nature<br /> Kwekwe Town Council has appealed to the government, Environmental Management Agency and the Police for help.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Food insecurity (crop damage)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Displacement, Land dispossession</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Corruption<br /> Deaths<br /> Repression<br /> Militarization of the area</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>The alternative suggested by Kwekwe Town Council is for government to regularize the work of artisanal miners, give them licences and train them to mine in a manner that preserves the environment. Criminalising artisanal mining does not stop the practice, rather it ensures that they become lawless and harmful both to the environment and to themselves</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>The Environmental Management Agency focuses its efforts on big corporations, maybe because they have a physical address and also they have the capacity to pay fines. However EMA has not done anything about panners. The situation is compounded by the involvement of cabinet ministers and senior politicians who render EMA ineffective</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> FOREST ACT ACT 19 05<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT ACT 20 27<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> WATER ACT ACT 20 24<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> ZIMBABWE NATIONAL WATER AUTHORITY ACT ACT 20 25<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> GOLD TRADE ACT ACT 21<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> COUNCILS ACT ACT 29 15<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> LAW AND ORDER (MAINTENANCE) ACT ACT 11<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> MINERALS MARKETING CORPORATION OF ZIMBABWE ACT ACT 21 MINES AND MINERALS ACT ACT 21 05<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> ZIMBABWE MINING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ACT ACT 21 08<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> KWEKWE: A MORIBUND DISTRICT; GEOSCIENCE CAN CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS RESCUING THE SITUATION Tariro Charakupa-Chingono<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Kwekwe, Zimbabwe.<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> (see attachment)<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Gold panning activities lead to closure of Kwekwe school<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Removal of barriers to the introduction<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> in the Kadoma-Chakari area, Zimbabwe.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Part A: Environmental Assessment<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> of cleaner artisanal gold mining<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> and extraction technologies<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Env Assessment finalA.pdf<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> </p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>0</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Farai Maguwu</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>03/10/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>