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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles

  • Raising community voices – May 2013
    Centre for Research and Development
    May 07, 2013

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    Are RDCs’ an integrated stakeholder in the extractive sector?

    River Pollution

    In the quest to find the source of problems bedeviling the targeted communities of ward 3,5 and 8 of Chimanimani East CRD undertook a trip to Chimanimani were it met with different stakeholders including Chimanimani Rural District Council officials. In his response to allegations of river pollution by mining companies that is allegedly to have caused death of livestock in Chimanimani West, the head of environment at Chimanimani Rural District Council (CRDC) Mr Maringe, confirmed that he had received several reports of these “mysterious death” of livestock between 2011 and 2012 although the rate of death has drastically subsided at the present moment. He further went on to inform CRD that he had formally written to EMA and the Veterinary Department over the issue but he did not receive any official response.

    Benefits accrued from the mining sector

    CRDC concurred with CRD on its earlier findings on the state of affairs in these mining communities, as they see no reason why communities living less than 20 kilometers away from the mining areas are alienated from benefiting because they are in Chimanimani District.

    Although CRDC was receiving assistance here and there from DTZ OZGEO the company mining diamonds for the past 3 years at Charles wood farm it appeared the council has very little influence over mining activities in their area of jurisdiction because they are not consulted by the Ministry of mines when mining licences are issued.

    According to CRDC many individuals and companies have come into the area to explore and mine without approaching council including Mbada diamonds that have already started mining operations near Wengezi Business Centre. When approached by CRDC to regularize their mining operations the company professed ignorance of that legal obligation but somehow promised to amicably resolve the issue.

    The council lamented the deplorable state of irrigation schemes, roads, schools and drug shortages in clinics and small mortuaries that could no longer copy with the rising populations in the district and they strongly believe these companies could do more to uplift the living standards of the communities if they are properly coordinated. The other biggest challenge that was observed by CRD and confirmed by the council was that stakeholders in this sector like the traditional leadership, the ministry of mines, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Indigenization ministry and local government are running parallel to each other in natural resource management. Unfortunately this situation has been exploited by mining companies and very little contributions towards the development of the communities have been undertaken in the process. Mr. Maringe highlighted that council is not only the regulatory authority but it is strategically positioned through its 5 year development plans to handle developmental initiatives that are coming from the extractive sector if there is harmony among stakeholders. Mr. Maringe is hoping that the new mining legal framework will address some of these challenges noted here if communities are to realize any meaningful benefits from the management of their natural resources.

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