Several school children and staff members sustained injuries when a classroom block collapsed at Globe and Phoenix Primary in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. The incident occurred during school hours, with students inside the building at the time.
Reports indicate that the collapse was caused by illegal gold panners who had been carrying out mining activities beneath the school grounds. These individuals had compromised the building’s foundation, leading to the tragic incident.
Illegal gold mining is a rampant problem in Zimbabwe, with many individuals engaging in the practice without proper authorization or safety measures. This activity not only poses a risk to human life but also causes significant environmental damage, including soil erosion, deforestation, and water pollution.
The Kwekwe District Development Coordinator, Mr Fortune Mpungu, confirmed the incident and noted that the District Civil Protection Unit was now on the ground to investigate and provide assistance. The incident highlights the urgent need to address the issue of illegal mining in Zimbabwe and ensure that proper safety measures are put in place to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
Illegal gold mining in Zimbabwe is a widespread problem that has resulted in several devastating incidents over the years. Many of these miners operate without proper safety equipment, putting themselves and others at risk of injury or death.
Moreover, illegal gold mining activities cause significant environmental damage, including deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution. The use of mercury in the mining process also poses a severe threat to public health, as it can contaminate water sources and food supplies.
The Zimbabwean government has taken steps to address the issue of illegal mining, including launching crackdowns on illegal mining activities and setting up a task force to monitor and regulate the sector. However, these efforts have not been entirely successful in curbing the problem.
The incident at Globe and Phoenix Primary is a stark reminder of the dangers of illegal mining and the urgent need to take action to prevent further tragedies. It is essential to educate communities on the risks associated with illegal mining and promote alternative, sustainable livelihoods to discourage people from engaging in these activities. The government must also enforce stricter regulations and provide resources to support legal mining activities while protecting the environment and public safety.