The Chief Government Mining Engineer Michael Munodawafa has emphasized the importance of preserving life and called on artisanal and small-scale miners who are mining in low-lying areas to temporarily stop operations as Zimbabwe braces for Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
In a statement, Eng Munodawafa said heavy rains and flooding will lead to ground instability in the ground due to oversaturation of water potentially leading to ground collapse risking the lives of miners working underground.
My fellow Zimbabweans especially our small-scale miners and relatives I’m sure we have all heard about the Cyclone coming to Zimbabwe in the next few days. The cyclone will come with a lot of heavy rains which will cause flooding. We are therefore encouraging all miners, especially small-scale miners who are mining in waterways or low-lying areas to temporarily stop their operations until when the floods have gone. The heavy rains and flooding will also result in the introduction of instability in the ground due to oversaturation of water will result in ground collapse and bury our miners alive,” Eng Munodawafa said.
Eng Munodawafa advised miners to take the warning seriously as the country did not want to lose any lives because of the floods.
“Let’s all take this advice seriously as we do not want to lose any miners during this cyclone Freddy. Let’s value our lives more than the gold or any other mineral we are mining. A single loss of life is a loss to the family, the village, the country and all of us. Please let’s retreat briefly until the cyclone has gone and contribute meaningfully to Zimbabwe,” Munodawafa concluded.
Intense Tropical Cyclone Freddy, a particularly powerful and compact tropical system, is forecasted to make landfall in Madagascar on February 21, 2023.
Cyclone Freddy is projected to emerge in the Mozambique Channel and re-strengthen before landing in Mozambique and potentially reaching Zimbabwe, particularly in Chimanimani and Chipinge in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.
Freddy represents a significant flood risk for Madagascar as soils are already saturated in central parts of the island from the impact of Cyclone Cheneso, which stalled off the west coast of the island and brought torrential rains in late January that affected over 90,000 people with 33 people killed and 20 people still missing.