Diamond mining firm accused of polluting water sources

The Marange Development Trust (MDT) has petitioned Chiadzwa-based Diamond Mining Company (DMC) accusing it of polluting water sources causing serious problems to the community.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

MDT is a community-based organisation that was formed to advance the interests of villagers affected by diamond mining operations in Marange.

MDT chairman Malvern Mudiwa said water pollution was one of the worst challenges people in the community were grappling with.

“I write to kindly ask your company to look seriously into complaints raised by villagers regarding ongoing acts of water pollution in and along Chenyu, Singwizi and Save rivers ostensibly by DMC,” Mudiwa wrote on September 15.

“From the meeting held recently with affected villagers at Chingome Business Centre, we were shocked to learn that the water situation for both animal and human populations was getting dire owing to pollution.”

He added: “This is pointing to a serious humanitarian disaster and your rapid response to this call might help in mitigating this unfolding health crisis and arrest the situation forthwith.”

Addressing stakeholders at the alternative mining indaba held in Bulawayo last week, Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Fred Moyo reacted angrily to reports that miners were polluting water sources.

He said his ministry would clamp down on mining companies accused of polluting water sources.

The Centre for Research and Development (CRD) also expressed concern at the increased human rights violations in the Chiadzwa area.

Many illegal panners were trooping back to the diamond fields as the biting economic hardships worsen.

“The security situation in Marange has deteriorated. The CRD is on record for calling upon government to halt mining operations in the diamond fields in order to allow due diligence processes,” CRD said.

“The government has not considered such options in spite of admitting to loss of revenue and human rights violations of communities by these companies.”

The organisation claimed the situation in Marange had been exacerbated by government’s failure to expeditiously institute reforms in the diamond sector in order to force mining companies to account for their mining practices.

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