Artisanal small scale mining providing a buffer from livelihood shocks

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Penhalonga has suddenly become a hive of activity

By Llloyd Sesemani

Like many young unemployed youths,23year old Talent Mutepfa from Tsvingwe surburb has joined several people participating in the Manicaland gold rush in a bid to survive the country’s deteriorating economy. According to him poverty has driven him to artisanal gold mining.

Since the closure of DTZ mining company in 2016 several   people who lost their jobs have struggled to make ends meet. The majority of DTZ former employees have resorted to illegal gold panning and these have gone on to reoccupy the disused shafts of the former miner in search of gold.

The percentage of school drop outs has also risen since most have traded books for picks and shovels.  Moreover, the moral fibre of society has also decayed while the environment has not been spared with massive land degradation on the rise.

People in the area are living in fear; this comes in the wake of machete gang fights that have become popular in the suburb’s nightclub and these actions are allegedly being perpetrated by the artisanal miners.

The gold rush is an indication of the negative effects of Zimbabwe’s current economic meltdown which has seen closure of most companies.

The
community of Penhalonga is making deafening calls on the government to urgently
address their concerns as they argue that a stitch in time saves nine.

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