11 November 2021

When the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association ( ZELA) came in Shurugwi some  years ago as citizens  we thought they  were employers . On attending their meetings, ZELA  encouraged communities to come in turns so that everyone  will be capacitated and have  access to information on the environment,  policies , laws , business and  human rights. During the first three years  only a few were fully aware of the reasons why ZELA came into Shurugwi. Over the years, we have realised several benefits of participating in these capacity building meetings.

On the 8th of November 2021 the community from village 4 and 5 in ward 19 Chironde engaged  the ZIMALLOYS chrome mining company at Chikupa dam for an Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA) process verification . The company had started their operation a week before without consulting anyone from the community even the Councillor but they since have been stopped by the community members through ward Councillor  after failing to produce an Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA)  document.

In attendance  were the consultant  hired by the company , two mining representatives , Environmental community monitors , Data extractors ,  paralegals and human rights defenders .

After some introductions the discussions commenced in a local language so that everyone would comprehend  and effectively engage in the discussions.  

How the mine will operate

-Zim alloys will do their mining operations through open cast but when the level of the ore exceeds 15m  they will do the rift mining .

-They will employ many people from different places including locals.

-The ore will be transported to Gweru for processing

-Blasting methods will be done on hard rocks

-Company to compensate on any risk or dead cattle depending on which time of the day -those cattle who succumb to death during the night will not be compensated

Mitigation measures

-The company will  maintain pegs for easy identification

-They will put a fence within the area of operation to prevent animals  from getting through .

-They will use the syrene to highlight people in the sorrounding area.

-Their vehicles will reduce speed when  they  pass in the village and wet the road  to avoid danger and dust.

Community  demanded benefits like improved roads , scooping of Chikupa dam , borehole drilling , rehabilitaion of open pits , tributaries if possible . Company to follow all regulations , respect and report all graves if they come across one.

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