Strict regulations on disused mines crucial: Civil Protection
THE Department of Civil Protection (DCP) has called on the Mines ministry to come up with stricter regulations on disused mines to avoid unnecessary deaths, the Daily News reports.
There has been an influx of illegal miners invading abandoned mines in search of gold, but some have tragically
lost their lives after the shafts collapsed.
The situation has been made more scary after the Meteorological Services Department has forecast that Zimbabwe will have normal to-above rainfall with floods anticipated in some low-lying areas.
At least 30 miners are believed to have been buried alive after a disused shaft at RAN Mine in Bindura flooded following rains and the collapse of support pillars. DCP director Nathan Nkomo said they needed the responsible authority to play a leading role in regularising artisanal miners.
“There is a need for the ministry of Mines to come up with a mitigation plan, especially on abandoned mines which ave become death traps.
“There must be licensing and improvement of standards in mining areas for proper enforcement of laws,” Nkomo said.
Last year, at least 24 miners died when a shaft they were working in was flooded following heavy rains in Battlefields.
Meanwhile, the DCP has started awareness campaigns across the country to educate the public about the risks that come with the impending heavy rains.
“These are natural calamities and you can’t prevent them from happening, however, the government is prepared to minimise damage to property and loss of lives that comes with such disasters. We have come up with a contingency plan that is aimed at minimising damage,” Nkomo said.
He said the public should desist from risky behaviour which include crossing and swimming in flooded rivers. “We need to create a nation which is risk averse. There are many things that people take for granted and these things have led to loss of lives such as crossing flooded rivers.
“Despite numerous campaigns people still take things for granted. “We, however will not tire, we are in the provinces carrying out awareness campaigns,” he said.