This picture shows how rampant gold panning has destroyed Runde River

The Runde Rural District Council (RDC) has raised a red flag over rampant uncontrolled gold panning along the Runde River.

The local authority says these activities could in the immediate future result in the complete eradication of this major water body.

The water body is paying a huge price for carrying the precious mineral in its belly, as non-stop digging continues even in broad daylight.

Huge piles of silt downstream give evidence to the scars this river has had to bear.

The local district council is concerned the reckless mining ventures if not stopped there will be no river to talk about in a decade.

Even though there is appreciation of the role of artisanal mining to the national economy, the major concern is that others who depend on the river for their livelihoods are suffering.

While it is evident that council worries are justified, for now those who are digging along the river’s course seem not moved.