Miners degrade land
FROM Rukute, near the bridge along the Harare-Chirundu highway, upstream to Chikuti in Mashonaland West, indiscriminate mining is completely defacing one of the most beautiful sceneries in Zimbabwe.
Large swathes of mangroves are disappearing as irresponsible panners dig the sandy mud below to extract alluvial gold, resulting in the weakening of their roots and dying vegetation.
In other places, river banks are plainly caving in as the sediment gets exhausted.
All around, the interlocking spurs through which the river has snaked since time immemorial, the trees and the hills have been ravaged.
The river bed is now devoid of boulders which used to keep the velocity of the water in check, leading to deadly flooding that has washed away farms and homes, damaging bridges and roads.