The Zimbabwe Miners Federation is pursuing the formalisation of the artisanal and small scale mining sector to minimize the impact on public health and to limit disruptions along the value chain.
According to the ZMF Chief Executive Officer Wellington Takavarasha, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected and disrupted lives and livelihoods within the artisanal and small- scale mining communities in Zimbabwe and globally.
“ZMF is coming up with initiatives and innovations to minimize the impact on public health and to limit disruptions along the value chain.
“It is evident that governments across the globe are relaxing containment measures and economies beginning to open,” he said.
According to Takavarasha,the following are some of the ZMF strategies and roadmap aimed at raising awareness and fostering widespread debate to resuscitate the ASM sector during the lockdown period;
1.ZMF Stakeholder Zoom Forum meetings to shape better the industry-ASM issues and concerns highlighted
2.Covid-19 WHO and Ministry of Health personal hygienic education and awareness campaigns by ZMF to its members to help prevent the spread of the pandemic
3.ZMF and Ministry of Mines Weekly and quarterly meetings
4.ZMF ASM Government Stimulus funding budget outlay.
ZMF Covid-19 Risks Outlook-A Preliminary Mapping and its implications.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association has revealed that artisanal miners are finding it difficult to comply with social distancing rules.
“The artisanal miners are not respecting COVID-19 regulations and they are working as usual.
“In areas where gold rushes occur social distancing is ignored.
“At Bhinyapi mine in Matabeleland South’s Insiza District, COVID-19 regulations on social distancing were largely ignored and violated when there was a gold rush,” said ZELA.