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9 Sep 2012

Caiphas Chimhete, Standard [Zimbabwe]

Villagers sue diamond firms for pollution [Zimbabwe]

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) and villagers...are seeking a court order to bar three diamond mining companies in Marange district from polluting water sources...In a High Court application...Zela and the villagers alleged that Anjin Investments [joint venture Anhui Foreign Economic Construction & Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)], Marange Resources [part of ZMDC] and Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC) [joint venture Pure Diam & ZMDC] were polluting Save, Singwizi and Odzi rivers with sewage, chemicals and metal deposits. Zela said the discharges...exposed inhabitants of villages...to risks of contracting diseases such as cancer, cholera and typhoid...Zela...wrote to Anjin demanding that the company cease discharging the pollutants...Anjin denied discharging pollutants into the rivers saying water containing sand mud was filtered in sedimentation ponds...But the letter signed by Anjin senior official...painted a different picture: “..[I]t happened one or two times. Pumps broke down and little recycled water was not pumped away in time, resulting in the overflow of the water from the ponds...”