Can Sand Abstraction be Sustainable?
- 08 Jun
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Globally, it is estimated that every year, 24 billion tonnes of fertile soils are lost through erosion alone (UNCCD, 2001). In Zimbabwe, soil erosion remains one the biggest environmental challenges. Whitlow (1988) contends that 1 848 000 hectares of land in all agro-ecological regions in Zimbabwe are eroded and an average of 76 tonnes of soil is lost per hectare through soil erosion.
The post-2015 global development agenda foresees that land-degradation neutrality is possible if everyone takes responsibility.
Sand Mining and Transportation
Sand and clay mining is one of the major drivers to land degradation in Zimbabwe’s urban, semi urban and rural service centres centre as well as growth points, mainly due to construction activities. Most of the miners of sand and clay do so from undesignated points and do not rehabilitate the land afterwards. The abandoned sites are characterised by severe land degradation, with huge open pits which are a death trap to human beings and animals. Limited livelihood options to the urban dwellers have worsened the country’s disposition to illegal sand mining.