sand-mining-in-zim.jpgThe Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has dismally failed to deal with the challenge of illegal sand miners raising questions over the capability of the body to carry out its mandate as prescribed by the law.

Illegal sand mining in Caledonia Farm near Harare has left serious land degradation that is slowly developing into an environmental crisis.

While this has been happening, the body mandated with protecting the land, EMA has failed to deal with the problem.

Environment Management Agency Spokesperson, Mr Steady Kangata actually appealed to residents in the affected areas to institute citizens’ arrest.

“We are failing to deal with the issue of illegal sand mining in the affected areas as the culprits engaging in the practise are leaving behind a trail of environmental degradation.

“We are saying people in the affected areas should institute citizen’s arrest and save their environs,” Mr Kangata said.

Residents of Caledonia Farm where the practise is rampant say most of the sand poachers in the areas are digging up the areas reserved for residential stands.

One resident said, “The men who engage in the trade come here and extract the sand, we cannot stop them because they are dangerous, now this place is only full of gullies.”

Other say the improper sand mining procedures have left deep gullies adding that many sand extractors have not been moved as they continue looking for new land to dig.

“If they are done with mining here they just move to other areas and authorities should move in because we are destroying our own country,” another resident said.

Observers say EMA has dismally failed to execute its mandate as it has never approached the police to conduct raids.

EMA officials have been concentrating on attending workshops while the practical work on the ground has been neglected.