The former mining settlement of Mhangura is in a state of neglect, with much of the area’s social service infrastructure run-down.

Mhangura mine, which was the lifeline for the majority of inhabitants in the former mining settlement, was closed down in 2000, signaling a decline in living standards for the population in the area.

Water and sanitation services have become a pipe dream in an area which has realised a tremendous population boom as unemployment in urban areas is driving many to the mining settlement. 

Wage earners from surrounding farms also prefer to stay in the area where rentals are as low as $12 per room per month.

Almost 2500 households in the Damba and Chebanga suburbs are said to shelter about 25 000 dwellers who use communally shared toilets initially designed for a quarter of that population.

The toilets are usually overburdened, and unlike before the year 2000 when the mine provided cleaning services, now no one seems to care about their condition and the reticulation system fails daily.

A glance at the area’s sports club and Mhangura Stadium, which was the home venue for the then super league club, Mhangura FC, depicts a lack of responsibility over the social amenities.

Elsewhere in Damba, a former canteen was once littered with human excreta before a home seeker collected and bagged the waste before disposing of it, prior to occupying the premises which he now shares with an unnamed church mate.

A former theatre has also been run down and is now a dwelling.

Makonde Rural District CEO, Mrs Lahliwe Murefu said the problems in Mhangura are linked to an improper handover takeover arrangement between the mine owners and the local authority.