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1 Apr 2020

Fadzai Midzi, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

Zimbabwe: Diamonds the only hope for Manicaland communities in fighting Covid-19; blogger

‘ZCDC must not let the Marange community down on COVID-19’ 30 March 2020

Just like the rest of the world, Zimbabwe is grappling with the challenge of containing coronavirus. So far 7 cases have been confirmed as at 30 March 2020. This is only a tip of an iceberg. With cases on the rise, there is need for Covid-19 preparedness measures to flatten the curve. Zimbabwe is endowed with vast mineral wealth deposits; Diamonds are one of the key strategic minerals expected to contribute to economic recovery. Therefore, the mineral wealth that the country poses should assist in responding to the country’s needs.

Health should not depend on wealth. But far too often it does, and it has a huge impact. The state pf preparedness of diamond mining affected communities’ rests in the diamond wealth they possess. It is important for Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to lead in Covid-19 preparedness in the Manicaland area. Diamonds are the only hope the communities have in surviving this health pandemic.

The communities are already vulnerable in terms of remoteness and poverty which makes most of them unable to afford covid-19 prevention measures. The remoteness of these communities limits their knowledge on how to protect themselves from the health pandemic. Efforts have been made by the government by raising awareness through television, radio, newspapers, social media but however there is still a gap in reaching the marginalised communities in remote areas such as Chiadzwa, Marange and Bocha.