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24 May 2012

Andrew Mambondiyani in Yale Environment 360 [USA]

The pollution fallout from Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds

The Marange diamond fields...have been an infamous example of so-called blood diamonds...Now, the impoverished residents who live near the mines have another cause for concern...Numerous local officials and leaders of civic organizations contend that people who have bathed in the river have developed rashes and other skin ailments, and that other residents have grown ill after drinking river water. Farai Maguwu, director of the Center for Research and Development...said he is concerned that large diamond processing plants on the Odzi are releasing toxic effluent and raw sewage into the river, which flows into the larger Save, or Sabi, River...“We don’t know what these diamond companies are discharging into the river,” said [local herdsman, Richford] Maramba, squinting into a scorching sun. “But whatever it is, it is not good for us and our livestock.” Figuring out what...the diamond companies are releasing into the Odzi River is a daunting task, given the tight security at the mines, the ties of the mining companies to Mugabe’s regime and his ZANU-PF Party, and the lack of transparency in Marange diamond operations. [refers to Anjin (joint venture Anhui Foreign Economic Construction & Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation), New Reclamation, Mbada Diamonds (joint venture New Reclamation Group & Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation), Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Grandwell Holdings Ltd (joint venture) New Reclamation & Marange Resources] [Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited ZMDC and New Reclamation to respond, but they did not do so]

Part of the following timelines

Communities allege waste from mining companies polluting water sources & affecting health.

Anjin Investments, Marange Resources & Diamond Mining Corporation lawsuit (re water pollution)