Government has banned alluvial mining along water courses because of the serious environmental damage and pollution it causes.
In a letter to catchment council chairpersons, secretary for the Ministry of Water Resources Development and Management Mr Ringson Chitsiko ordered the withdrawal and cancellation of all permits issued in connection with alluvial mining.
He also directed that permits should not be issued for alluvial mining.
“We have noted with great concern that alluvial mining activities are seriously degrading water courses thereby posing a threat of access to reliable water by stakeholders due to the rapid siltation and pollution from gold processing chemicals such as mercury and cyanide,” he said.
People living along water courses have blamed the rise in water-borne diseases to unregulated mining activities that are polluting water upstream.
Mr Chitsiko said catchment councils as custodians of all water resources in their areas should ensure compliance with the directive.