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Post Call for laws to protect environment and beneficiation of local communities
The stampede to harvest  Mopane worms (amacimbi/madora)  and  wanton  gold panning activities are damaging the environment  in Maphisa- Matopo district.

Harvesting of Mopani worms has   left trees destroyed while illegal gold panning  activities had left  many  unclosed pits.

In a recent meeting of church leaders in Maphisa, Speaking during a community engagement that was recently held by Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) at the Salvation Army Church, Pastor Sikhosana urged the authorities to come up with by laws that will govern the trade of Amacimbi for the benefit of Matobo.

Pastor   Sikhosana  said, “People are invading   our community  and don’t follow our cultural ways of preserving the ecosystem  but destroy trees and leave  pits that are a danger to our livestocks and children,”

“We often see people coming in to harvest Amacimbi and leave without giving back anything to the community. The responsible authorities need to come up with by-laws that will see these people sharing their profits with the community if not then they should not be allowed to loot our resources,” she said.

She went on to say that the profits from Amacimbi harvesting could help in developing the community.

“If we have such systems put in place, the money could be used to develop our roads and other infrastructures that have dilapidated.  This should not be for people who are coming from outside Maphisa but even members of the community need to give back so that our children have a brighter future,” she said.

Pastor Tompson Moyo, said there was a need to regularise people who were mining in their area as they are causing havoc. He said the community is facing challenges as these miners are impregnating their children but not talking responsibility.

“We do not know where these boys are coming from, but they are leaving parents with a burden of taking care of their children. Since they are not from around, it becomes a challenge to locate them to take responsibility as they leave soon after the gold rush ends,” he said.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA), the Ministry of Mines and Land Development as well as the Forestry Commission   must collaborate to solve this problem, said pastor...

“We are losing our livestock and people in the open pits. There should be a way that these people are monitored so that they close these pits. Not only are we experiencing death but the land itself is being destroyed and gullies are forming all over,” he said.

The District Development Coordinator, Mr Obey Chaputsira said the community should take initiative in guarding their resources. He said some of the people who are coming to harvest amacimbi are related to some members of the community.

“We are happy that you are suggesting ways that we can benefit from our resources, but we should take note that some of the people who are harvesting Amacimbi are related to some of the community members. You are the ones who are calling them and telling them that there is money in Maphisa. It is important that we all take responsibility and guard our things jealousy at the same time thinking of how we can benefit from it,” he said.

 Last year, there were reports that some of the people harvesting Amacimbi were cutting down trees and starting veld fires so as to catch the delicacy. In the process, they were causing deforestation and the fear in the community was that the delicacy will be extinct as they are cutting down trees.