Chinese accused of damaging Mavhuradonha

MUZARABANI - Villagers and environmentalists in Muzarabani district in Mashonaland Central province have accused a Chinese firm that they say is mining chrome from the Mavhuradonha mountains without a permit of damaging the environment through crude mining methods.

According the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Forces Johnny Rodrigues the Chinese miners never carried out environment impact assessments and some did not have prospecting orders allowing them to search for chrome in the area.

The Chinese are literally ripping up the beautiful countryside just outside the wilderness area but they are closing in very fast. They are mining without prospecting orders or permits and no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done, said Rodrigues.

Villagers who spoke to The Zimbabwean also accused the Chinese of ruining the area.

It seems those guys have the backing of powerfully politicians on the project. They tried to entice the community to accept the extraction saying they are going to put up an irrigation scheme in the area for the community and give the local employment. We told them that we do not want their project because its a clear environmental disaster, said Martin Manyoto.

Apart from contaminating the clean water in the mountains, Manyoto said the project scare away wild animals in the area, a development that he said would cripple the tourism industry in the area.

According to the villagers, the Chinese have also been linked to illegal mining operations in the Nyamaneche game park in Mvurwi. The game park is home to black Rhinos.

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