Health scare hits Kadoma

via Health scare hits Kadoma 1 September 2014

A HUMAN rights lobby group has revealed that most children born of women based in Kadoma were at high risk of suffering neuro-development challenges and genital deformities after most women in the mining town were found to have extremely higher concentration of mercury intoxication in their milk.

Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG) said the research conducted in the gold rich Kadoma area had shown that a majority of illegal artisanal miners were using mercury in purifying their gold which in turn found its way into water sources.

Mercury in women’s bodies affects breast milk and subsequently breastfeeding babies would then develop neuro-development challenges.

CNRG researcher Norman Mukwakwami said a recent study had shown that milk in women who were tested for mercury intoxication in Kadoma had mercury levels that were up to 25 times higher than acceptable limits prescribed by the World Health Organisation.

“Children who are exposed to mercury will suffer from neuro-development challenges and genital deformities,” Mukwakwami said.

CNRG urged government tourgenly legalise artisanal mining to curb illegal use of mercury by panners.

“What is needed is full formalisation where artisanal miners receive mining claims, technical and financial support from the government while in turn it will get royalties, tax and gold,” Mukwakwami said.

The recommendations came as the World Bank estimates there were up to 500 000 artisanal miners in Zimbabwe.

“Of the half a million people engaged in artisanal mining, 44% are women,” Mukwakwami said.

Statistically this translates to one in 26 persons in Zimbabwe being involved in artisanal mining.

CNRG says the number of artisanal miners has grown exponentially in the past three decades, from less than 50 000 at independence in 1980 to the current 500 000 due to increasing unemployment, several droughts and the rising price of minerals on the international market.


  • comment-avatar
    Tongoona 8 years ago

    Ko iyo mercury haikuvadze here madzimai ayo ari kumaina. Chii chavanokomplena ivo vari ndivo honzeri. Chida moy hamba yakada makwati. Asi vana vamurikuremadza zvombo avo mangwana vachakumukirai madzimai. Hamheno kuti munozoigadzirisa sei.

  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    We are a country heading for self destruction due to our uncontrolled methods of doing things.These artisanal miners with their Chinese bosses in some cases have already destroyed our countryside and many animals have died falling into the unprotected mine holes.
    All the dams are now contaminated with these dangerous chemicals which have been washed into our dams during the rains.If you test all those who drink urban water,you would not be surprised to get a figure of more than 80% of the tested people as being affected.
    This is why I keep on saying that Zimbabweans should not claim that they are better educated than the rest of Africa because we lack common sense and wisdom to prevent self imposed disasters.Technically,it is very hard to remove chemicals from water,therefore we have poisoned ourselves and the future generations to come.Where is EMA ?

  • comment-avatar
    janto 8 years ago

    This is a fake research report by some group trying to get access to donor funding. There are no panners in Kadoma who operate upstream of the main water supply body the Claw dam due to environmental restrictions in that area. Those who have tried to mine in that area will testify to how much harassment they got from the ZRP. Even if mercury did get into the dam supplying Kadoma it would kill the fish and would become stagnant in the dam due to its weight as a liquid metal. Curious also that this so called survey doesn’t mention livestock and fish which also drink water in Kadoma and serve as food for not only Kadoma residents.