Capacitation of Zvishavane, Gwanda and Bubi miners on the cards
By Ndanatsiwa Tagwireyi
Artisanal and small scale miners in Zvishavane, Gwanda and Bubi will this year benefit from technical site visits that seek to close the knowledge gap and capacitate miners (grassroots miners included) on various pertinent issues, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) has revealed.
Artisanal and small scale mining in Zimbabwe is mainly characterized by lack of up to date machinery and technological knowhow, lack of appropriate mining titles, below par safety measures, low production output and limited adherence to environmental concerns.
Speaking to the Mining Vision Magazine, ZELA Programs Officer Joyce Machiri said ZELA has started to do the process of technical mine visits to capacitate miners; inclusive of grassroots mining personnel and mine owners. She said technical mine visits started in late 2020 and mentioned areas where they will be done this year.
“We actually realized that we were training mostly the mine owners and leaving out those who actually go underground to do the work,” Machiri said adding that: “During these site visits, we actually go to miners’ respective sites to train them on different issues including health and safety. ZELA also moves around with mining engineers to sensitize miners on technical aspects such as de-watering, preventing ground falls among other mining related issues.”
According to Machiri, the technical mine visits scheduled for this year in Zvishavane, Gwanda and Bubi will also contribute to changing the mindset and attitude of miners on safety related matters.
“It is not only a situation where we will be taking information to mine owners as we will get down to the real workers on ground after realization that there is need to change their mindset and attitude on safety matters,” she noted.
“Previously, mine owners would tell us that it is difficult to convince their workers to adhere to mining safety measures. They actually buy them the safety kits but they do not wear them because of attitude and lack of knowledge.”
In 2022, ZELA will also have some dialogue meetings that bring miners, parliamentarians, decision makers and companies together to provide a platform for rational critical deliberations on issues affecting the mining sector.
“We have topical matters that include issues of violence, formalization, safety and where possible, we will bring issues relating to Fidelity Printers on board. NSSA is another topical issue as you find that miners are lagging behind on social security and other essentials like medical aid due to lack of formalization,” Machiri revealed