Home Mining Digging for Change: Calls for Safety Overhaul in Zimbabwe’s Small-Scale Mining Sector

Digging for Change: Calls for Safety Overhaul in Zimbabwe’s Small-Scale Mining Sector

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Mining experts in Zimbabwe are highlighting the critical need for significant safety enhancements within the country’s small-scale mining sector. The sector, despite its high productivity, has been marred by a concerning number of avoidable fatalities.
Wesley Phiri, a Mining Engineer, stressed the imperative for substantial efforts to overhaul the current operational methods. He emphasized the necessity of expert guidance to ensure safe mining practices within these entities, which continue to grapple with persistent safety challenges.
According to an October 2023 report, official figures underscore the severity of the situation. In 2019, 116 mining accidents resulted in 182 fatalities. This toll continued in 2020 with 158 accidents leading to 161 fatalities, followed by 121 accidents causing 139 fatalities in 2021. Alarmingly, in 2022, 170 accidents claimed 185 lives.
In a recent incident, a Chegutu mine gained international attention in October 2023. A shaft collapse trapped 41 miners underground, bringing renewed focus to the perilous conditions prevailing in these mining operations.
The alarming statistics and recent incidents underscore the urgency for comprehensive safety reforms in Zimbabwe’s small-scale mining sector, aiming to avert further tragedies and ensure the well-being of those working within this vital economic domain.

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