How can communities benefit from the extraction of natural resources from their areas? What are the current gaps that are affecting the system and how are communities affected.
By the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD)
Zimbabwe is endowed with abundant natural resources that include rich mineral deposits, wildlife, arable lands, forests, and surface and groundwater.
It is generally believed the nation has about 30 percent of the world’s diamond reserves and is the second largest platinum producer in the world behind South Africa. Surprisingly though, the majority of Zimbabweans, especially those living in the communities endowed with the vast natural resources, still live on less than $2 a day. Zimbabwe is a mineral rich country with a thriving mineral processing industry that accounts for 4.5% of the nation’s employment. Despite these notable contributions to the country’s development, there has always been a debate on the impact of mining and the broader extractive industry on the environment and communities where these are found.
The reality is that people in resource rich areas are living in abject poverty, yet their land is blessed with such valuable natural resources. In most cases, declining crop and livestock production due to a degrading