Marange diamond mines pollute rivers, Zimbabwe

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The Marange diamond fields are an area of widespread small-scale diamond production in Chiadzwa, Mutare West, Zimbabwe. Although estimates of the reserves contained in this area vary wildly, some have suggested that it could be home to one of the worlds richest diamond deposits. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> Diamond Mining companies are causing environmental pollution and health and human rights impacts to workers. <br/><br/> Expecially rivers are heavily threaten by mining:most of the surbubs in Mutare are located along Sakubva River, which then cuts across the city and passes through some villages before draining into Odzi River which in turn drains into Save River which passes through Marange. According to Mukokeri (1999) cited by Mapira (2011), Mutare City pollutes Sakubva River and its tributaries in three ways, namely by sewage, industrial and institutional waste. Zinc, lead, arsenic, mecury, but also detergents are being discharged from industries and are polluting river water, thereby endangering human and aquatic life. It is virtually impossible to find any life in Sakubva River. Rivers have also become turbid or muddy due to diamond mining activities, thereby decreasing water quality. A scientific study carried out by the University of Zimbabwe in July 2012 observed the presence of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella which pauses health risks to the local community. Testing also suggests heavy metals. A water quality index conducted by the research team classified most of the river sites as bad and medium.There is also Municipal Sewage works at Gimboki which also dumbs sludge into Sakubva River. The effects of Sakubva River pollution are heavily felt in Dora communal lands where about 30 000 people rely on it for domestic and irrigation purposes. This community also has very few alternatives to Sakubva river due to poverty and lack of awareness on the dangers of using the polluted river water. <br/><br/> The government has also restricted movement in Marange, where hundreds of artisanal miners and villagers were killed by the Zimbabwe National Army in 2008. Villagers have complained that their livestock is dying due to the suspected poisoning of the river Save and its tributaries. Children have developed skin rashes after getting into contact with the water during swimming escapades or when crossing the river. Due to the politicization of diamond mining activities in Zimbabwe, the Environmental Management Agency is unable to enforce the country’s laws in Marange. Some of the companies started mining before conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment. <br/><br/> Moreover workers are being exposed to environmental hazards, they also complain of being physically and racially harassed by company security guards and are also underpaid and badly fed. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Marange diamond mines pollute rivers, Zimbabwe</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/zimbabwe">Zimbabwe</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Manicaland</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Marange District</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Mineral processing<br /> Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites<br /> Other industries<br /> Mineral ore exploration<br /> Tailings from mines<br /> Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/diamonds'>Diamonds</a><br /><a href='/commodity/water'>Water</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">It is hard to have a clear picture of the volume of diamonds mined at Marange. Both the KP civil society representatives and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines were denied mine level data on statistics during separate visits early 2012. However government later revealed that projection of diamond output for 2014 was 14.5 million carats</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>200000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>200,000,000 - 400,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>500,000 - 700,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/anjin-investments'>Anjin Investments</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/china'><small>China</small></a><br /><a href='/company/diamond-mining-corporation'>Diamond Mining Corporation</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/united-arab-emirates'><small>United Arab Emirates</small></a><br /><a href='/company/mbada-diamonds'>Mbada Diamonds</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/zimbabwe'><small>Zimbabwe</small></a><br /><a href='/company/marange-resources'>Marange Resources</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/zimbabwe'><small>Zimbabwe</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, Environmental Management Agency, Zimbabwe National Water Authority</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/un-kimberley-process'>UN Kimberley Process <small>(KP)</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Kimberley Process, Center for Natural Resource Governance, Center for Civil Society [UKZN], Southern Africa Resource Watch,, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association,</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Artisanal miners<br /> Farmers<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Industrial workers<br /> Local ejos<br /> Trade unions<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Objections to the EIA<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Strikes<br /> Arguments for the rights of mother nature<br /> -Raising Awareness among residents and the polluting companies -Demonstrations in suburbs affected by pollution -Demonstrations at the Council Offices and at the premises of companies that are leading in pollution -Engaging local academic institutions for research and publications on pollution</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Air pollution, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Use of generators contributing to carbon emissions</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Corruption<br /> Criminalization of activists<br /> Court decision (failure for environmental justice)<br /> Migration/displacement<br /> Repression<br /> Violent targeting of activists<br /> New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Companies must stop disposing toxic waste into the river, rather they must invest into technology which prevents pollution<br/><br/>Activists want a complete overhaul of the current Environmental Manage Act to give the agency prosecuting authority and the setting up of an environmental pollution court staffed with judges with environmental law and impacts academic and professional backgrounds. They also want stiffer penalties for environmental crime perpetrators, including suspension and revocation of licences for regular offenders.<br/><br/>Marange workers do not have a union. Their employers have made it difficult for employees to form unions. Instead thew workers are represented by workers committed which are highly vulnerable during times of unrest.<br/><br/>Regarding the labour issues, the proposed alternative is to assist workers in all the diamond mining companies to form a strong labor union that will represent their interests. This diamond workers union will affiliate to Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to give it cover from the umbrella labor body This move will also bring the local diamond workers union into contact with regional and international mine workers, a move that is useful for advocacy purposes</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>No stiff penalties have been enforced on the polluting companies. One of the companies reported on its website that the environmental laws in Zimbabwe are lax, adding that it is cheaper to pollute and pay fines than to prevent pollution. Due to the involvement of state security agents and senior politicians in diamond mining, companies that are polluting appear to be operating above the law.<br/><br/>The companies practice open cast mining, thereby destroying the environment, polluting the air and exposing workers to diseases. At DMC the workers allege that employees who are based at the sorting plant are subdued to huge amount of dust but the Arabic Management has up to now failed to provide protective masks and respirators.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Natural Resources Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Hazardous Substances and Article Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Mines and Minerals Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Environmental Management Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Regional Town, Country and Planning Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Zimbabwe National Water Authority Acts<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Labor Act 2801<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe Incorporation (Private) Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Urban Councils Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Rural Districts Councils Act<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Report on the Scientific Investigation of the Impact Of Marange Diamond Mining Operations on Water Quality in The Save And Odzi Rivers: Including Assessment of the Health, Environmental and Livelihoods Impacts. By Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (attached)<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> RIVER POLLUTION IN THE CITY OF MUTARE (ZIMBABWE) AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa (Vol 13, No.6, 2011)<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> (See attached file)<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> </p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Report on the Scientific Investigation of the Impact Of Marange Diamond Mining Operations on Water Quality in The Save And Odzi Rivers </strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Farai Maguwu</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>