GWERU: Small scale miners have called for government assistance in dewatering their pits following heavy rains experienced in the previous rainy season as underground water is now making their operations difficult.
Speaking to CommuTalk, Zimbabwe Miners Federation President, Ranganai Chauke said miners are now struggling to meet their set targets.
“The water in our pits is just too much and as individuals we are failing to cope. We are now requesting for government support as we also want to have a bumper harvest in mining. We are here to deliver but we are finding the going a little bit tough hence the call for proper mechanisation.
“We are a farming nation and the rains are a blessing. However, we are saying mining is key for the country to achieve an upper middle-income economy. This can only be achieved through capacitating miners,” said Chauke.
For Zimbabwe Miners Federation, the request for support in mechanisation should not be misconstrued for asking for freebies as mining is a business.
“The capital we have as small-scale miners is not just enough to take us through all our activities let alone the dewatering exercise. We are not requesting for monetary loans per se but we are saying government can partner miners’ organisations and come up with reasonable terms of making dewatering machinery available.
“It will then become easy for tracking the repayment of loaned machinery if the deal is done through registered associations because the situation in mines is critical,” said Zimbabwe Miner’s Federatio Vice-President Marufu Sithole.
Most parts of the country received normal to above normal rainfalls which ultimately resulted in the general rise of the water table a situation that has made mining operations difficult.
The situation has also not been favourable for the general infrastructure like roads which were destroyed in the process prompting government to declare a state of disaster with the mining sector also catching the sneeze.
Ironically, the heavy rains experienced in the rainy season have renewed hope in the agricultural sector with the nation anticipating a bumper harvest and a general economic growth as the sector contributes the biggest chunk of the country’s gross domestic product.