Jemitias Mapira


Mining plays a key role in Zimbabwe’s economy, contributing 5% and 23% to the country’s gross domestic (GDP) and total exports, respectively. It also generates foreign currency and supplies raw materials to some industries. As a ‘robber’ industry, it extracts minerals from the earth without replacing them. It also creates deep shafts and ugly pits which damage the landscape. In addition it causes environmental pollution and is a threat to the tranquillity of the natural environment. Based on information that was collected in August 2017, this paper discusses various aspects of the mining industry. These include Zimbabwe’s mining legislation, environmental impacts of the mining industry at global level, in the SADC region and in Zimbabwe. Problems which confront the industry as well as their possible solutions in Zimbabwe are also examined. From a sustainable development (SD) point of view, mining poses a serious danger which should be addressed at both local and national levels. Since the early years of independence (1980-1984), several Zimbabwean mines have closed down either due to mineral depletion or dis-investment. Some of them have turned into ghost towns which have led to the decay of infrastructure. Little or nothing has been done to avert this crisis. Those mines which are still operational cause immense pollution to the natural environment thereby threatening SD at the national level. However, solutions to avert this crisis are hard to come by. Currently, there is a need to promote environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) at the national level. In this context, efforts should be directed at the establishment of EE centres throughout Zimbabwe as is the case in South Africa.


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Copyright (c) 2018 Jemitias Mapira

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