Managing the impact of gold panning activities within the context of integrated water resources management planning in the Lower Manyame Sub-Catchment, Zambezi Basin, Zimbabwe
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth
Africa Management and Development Institute, P.O. Box 6146, Mbabane, Swaziland; Department of Civil Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP167, Mt . Pleasant Harare,, Zimbabwe; Department of Geology, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP167, Mt . Pleasant Harare,, Zimbabwe; WaterNet, P.O. Box MP600, Mt . Pleasant Harare,, Zimbabwe; United Nations Industrial Development Organization, P.O. Box 4775, Harare, Zimbabwe
Riverbed alluvial gold panning activities are a cause for degradation of river channels and banks as well as water resources, particularly through accelerated erosion and siltation, in many areas of Zimbabwe. The lower Manyame sub-catchment located in the Northern part of the country is one such area. This study analysed the implications of cross-sectoral coordination of the management of panning and its impacts. This is within the context of conflicts of interests and responsibilities. A situational analysis of different stakeholders from sectors that included mining, environment, water, local government and water users who were located next to identified panning sites, as well as panners was carried out. Selected sites along the Dande River were observed to assess the environmental effects. The study determined that all stakeholder groups perceived siltation and river bank degradation as the most severe effect of panning on water resources, yet there were divergent views with regards to coordination of panning management. The Water Act of 1998 does not give enough power to management institutions including the Lower Manyame Sub-catchment Council to protect water resources from the impacts of panning, despite the fact that the activities affect the water resource base. The Mines and Minerals Act of 1996 remains the most powerful legislation, while mining sector activities adversely affect environmental resources. Furthermore, complexities were caused by differences in the definition of water resources management boundaries as compared to the overall environmental resources management boundaries according to the Environmental Management Act (EMA) of 2000, and by separate yet parallel water and environmental planning processes. Environmental sector institutions according to the EMA are well linked to local government functions and resource management is administrative, enhancing efficient coordination. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Degradation; Environmental impact; Erosion; Management; Rivers; Concensus building; Conflict resolution; Gold panning; Integrated water resources management; Small-scale mining; Water resources; catchment; environmental effect; gold mine; river channel; water management; water resource; Africa; Southern Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Zambezi Belt; Zimbabwe