Quarry miner moves to mitigate pollution after residents’ protest
A local quarry miner has pledged to use several methods to suppress the emission of dust and minimise noise while conducting its mining activities following protests by residents of Arcadia suburb in Harare.
Through their lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), residents of Arcadia suburb in the capital had on 7 June 2021 written a letter to Harare Quarry, owned by the City of Harare, giving the miner a seven-day ultimatum to stop dust and noise pollution at its Crusher Plant emanating from its blasting activities, which were putting residents at risk of inhaling dust, which is detrimental to their health and well-being.
The residents protested that the blasting activities carried out by Harare Quarry were causing earth tremors which are damaging their houses through the emergence of cracks on the walls.
Elderly residents also complained that they were suffering shocks as a result of the tremors from the blasting.
This compelled Chinopfukutwa to ask Harare Quarry to publish a timetable of any intended blasting activity, clearly stating the day and time of each blast and for the quarry miner to adopt dust suppression methods in order to mitigate the level of dust pollution and to adopt the use of silent blasting technology to mitigate noise pollution.
The human rights lawyer also asked Harare Quarry to cordon off roads situated close to the quarry mine, which is located along Airport Road during blasting and to keep reasonably sufficient distance between the blasting site and residential houses.
In response, Elias Chizema, the Acting General Manager for Harare Quarry, whose company pledged to co-exist in harmony with residents of Arcadia suburb by not infringing on their right to a safe and healthy environment undertook to utilise various water suppression methods to suppress dust emissions that result in pollution and to resort to the use of shock tubes and auto stemming blasting to minimise noise and vibrations.
Harare Quarry also furnished the residents with a timetable showing the days and times when it would be undertaking blasting activities and these will be from Monday to Friday between 3pm and 4pm.