Gwanda Local Peace Committee takes action against illegal mining and water challenges
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, [email protected]
THE Gwanda Local Peace Committee (GLPC) is set to tackle illegal mining and poor Water and Sanitation Hygiene (Wash) issues which have remained a source of conflict in the district.
In a planning meeting held recently the peace committee resolved to first of all tackle illegal mining activities in the Makwe area which have threatened operations at Kip Keino Children Homes and have caused tension among community members. The committee also identified water challenges, poor sewer reticulation, and squatting in the mining town as some of the issues that need urgent attention.
The major function of the committee which was formed in 2018 is to promote peace and non-violence in the Gwanda community through non-violent interventions and community-centred approaches.
GLPC chairperson, Davis Mwera said the target of the committee is to see a violence-free Gwanda. He said conflicts will always be there but people have to use non-violent mechanisms to resolve them.
“Our duty as a peace committee is to intervene when there are conflicts within the community. We find a way to engage all involved parties and find a way of managing the conflict amicably. As the year has started it’s important for us to identify areas of intervention which can either be issues that we were dealing with last year or new areas of intervention,” he said.
The peace committee since it was formed has intervened at Vhovha Mine where there were serious conflicts over mining claims and even established a peace committee there to work hand in hand with the police.
The committee also intervened in the Spitzkop North area where residents were complaining of high crime and poor lighting. The peace committee engaged the Gwanda Municipality and lighting was addressed. The peace committee also formed a Ward 5 peace committee in the Spitzkop North area.
A police base was built as a result of corroborated efforts from the community, business community, and police.
The GLPC also intervened in Jahunda’s old location area in Ward 4 where residents were disgruntled as some houses did not have toilets and water. The peace committee engaged the Gwanda Municipality over the matter and residents were given the go-ahead to buy their own taps and municipality engineers did the fitting.
A peace committee was established in Ward 4.