Masvingo City Council has introduced regular patrols by its security department to stop marauding illegal miners from encroaching into Target Kopje Hill where the city’s water supply tanks are domiciled.
The crackdown on illegal mining at Target Kopje comes in the wake of rising concerns that the city’s water supply could be imperiled by fortune seekers.
Council was recently forced to reverse its approval for mining activities close to the water storage tanks with a combined capacity of 25 000 megalitres.
Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa disclosed that patrols has been upped at Target Kopje Hills to flush out illegal miners.
He added that the local authority had also written to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development reversing its initial approval to mining activities within the vicinity of the tanks.
However,following clamours of disapproval from residents and environmentalists,council backed down.
This however did not stop an influx of illegal miners from preying for fortune in the goldrich reeds within the vicinity of the water tanks.
This came to a head after some of the illegal miners started using dynamites which posed a serious threat to the storage tanks that supply the entire Masvingo City with water.
Masvingo draws its water from Lake Mutirikwi and is mulling a water augmentation project to duplicate the entire water pumping,purification,conveyancing and storage infrastructure at a cost of US$72 million.