Tafadzwa Ufumeli writing in African Arguments analyses a conflict of interest between the Dinde Community and Chinese coal mining investments
The Dinde community, made up of around 700 households in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North Province, were told in late-2020 that the Chinese mining firm Beifa Investments was beginning coal exploration in the area. Afraid at what it means for the region, villagers have protested the project but with little success.
One of the Dinde community’s main concerns is that the extraction of coal would lead to environmental devastation in the area. They have reason to be alarmed. An hour or two away, mining activities have reportedly polluted the Deka River, killing hundreds of fish and livestock. There have also been reports of coal dust covering the town of Hwange, allegedly ruining vegetation and leading to widespread breathing difficulties among residents.
“The nature of our settlement and coal mining cannot co-exist because our livestock will suffer from the effects,” says Shoko. “The moment they start mining, our displacement is inevitable."
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