Operations at the Mthandazo Women Mining Service Centre in Collen Bawn, Matabeleland South Province have been severely affected by poor water supplies, forcing the miners to revert to seeking services from private millers.

The launch of the mining  service centre in November last year brought a sense of relief to women miners who had been engaging external constructors for the milling and processing of  gold ore.

The private millers charge high costs for their services thus rendering the women’s operations not viable.

However, operations at the new service centre have failed to bring the desired results due to poor water supplies and financial hurdles.

The Chairperson of the Mthandazo Women Miners Association, Mrs Sithembile Ndlovu conceded that operations at the centre have not been smooth-sailing mainly due to failure by ZINWA to supply them with water.

Gwanda senator and a member of the association, Cde Alma Mkhwebu said under-capitalisation and lack of proper management of the project have also contributed to the challenges faced by the centre.

In a bid to keep the centre running, the women are now incurring additional costs as they have to hire transport to ferry water from a ZINWA plant to the service centre.

Despite the challenges, the association has since March this year managed to remit 1,6 kgs gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.