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9 Dec 2016

Rearabilwe Ramaphane, Weekend Post (Botswana)

Botswana: Communities say they may take BCL to court over alleged environmental pollution and destruction of livelihoods

"Residents may sue Gov’t for BCL smoke", 5 Dec

Government may have to answer to a lawsuit for its claimed failure to protect the Phikwe environment from effects of mining operations for the last 44 years...Resident[s] of Sefophe, Mmadinare, Tobane amongst others have intentions of taking government to task for failing to protect them from mining emissions as well as other negative environmental impacts. The leaders of those communities at the 4th Alternative Mining Forum [in] Phikwe this past week [said] that BCL mine has affected their farming life, particularly cattle farming and crop production... “BCL has contaminated the water in Motloutse, the grass and plants are poisonous to our cattle..." [said one participant]...Attendants further noted that BCL operations have mined the sand from Motloutse River which produced water for their livestock and today the river no longer holds tangible quantities of water due to such operations. They said that the water is also polluted and unhealthy for consumption by farm workers and settlers as well as the livestock...Facilitator at the workshop, a Zambian lawyer, Kanwenje Nyalugwe told the attendants that it was possible for the communities to commission a law suit against BCL owners...