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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)
SAND MINING HAS NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
27/02/15
RIVER SAND MINING HAS NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
RIVER SAND MINING HAS NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
The country is challenged with the depletion of river sand emanating from sand harvesting. It is noted that sand harvesting impacts negatively in the environment especially in the Southern part of the country. Senior Mining Engineer at the Department of Mines Mr. Kenalemang Charles said illegal sand operators continue to mine sand even where rivers are completely depleted to a point where some end up creating manmade channels adjacent to the river courses. Mr. Charles said where rivers are totally depleted, it becomes almost impossible for the river beds to hold water during rainy seasons. Sand mining therefore does not only deplete river sand, but also impacts on the scarce water resources which will flow further downstream with nothing to hold it for local inhabitant’s use.
Despite the fact that the problem is more rampant in the Southern part of the country (greater Gaborone), it is however not isolated to this area only but the entire country especially where development is anticipated. He said. This has further been proven by some individuals and construction companies who have started fetching sand from as far as Mahalapye area (Mhalaptswe River) and the trend has even started spreading further north of the country. It is anticipated that there will be an escalation in the northern migration of the illegal sand operators once the Mahalapye resource is also depleted. At the moment, the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources is looking at drawing water from the northern part of the country to service the southern part due to below average rainfalls and minimal rainwater catchment in the southern part of the country. This is proving that it is not only about the depletion of sand but also the scarce water resource.
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