New Zimbabwe Steel River Pollution, Kwekwe, 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">New Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), one of Africa’s largest Iron and Steel Company based in Redcliff in the town of Kwekwe discharges industrial effluent into the Kwekwe River, thereby severely depreciating its water quality. The company has been facing chronic financial problems which slowed down production since 2008 but is expected to be back at full capacity following a USD750 million investment by an Indian firm, Essar Group. Life in Redcliff revolves around the iron and steel company. A recent research study observed that the Iron and Steel Company ‘discharged high quantities of iron, sulphate, oil and tar into Kwekwe River, making the water unsuitable for irrigation and domestic use’. Kwekwe River drains into Sebakwe River which drains into Munyati. Munyati River flows into Kariba Dam which drains into the might Zambezi River. The discharge of effluent in Kwekwe has far reaching consequences for human, aquatic, animal and plant life downstream. The Environmental Management Agency, tasked to oversee the protection of the environment against pollution, has been described as ‘a lion without teeth’ due to its failure to hold perpetrators of environmental crimes accountable. Enforcing environmental laws at ZISCO is in fact difficult due to the interest of politicians in the company. <br/><br/></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>New Zimbabwe Steel River Pollution, Kwekwe, 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>Midlands</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Kwekwe</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>Industrial and Utilities conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites<br /> Other industries<br /> Mineral processing<br /> Metal refineries</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/iron-ore'>Iron ore</a><br />Steel<br /><a href='/commodity/industrial-waste'>Industrial waste</a></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">At full capacity New Zimbabwe Steel Company produces around 1 million tonnes of iron and steel annually. Production at New Zimbabwe Steel Company had stalled in 2008 due to corruption and asset stripping of the company by senior politicians in Zimbabwe. <br/><br/></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>20000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>1000000000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>200,000 - 500,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/new-zimbabwe-iron-and-steel-company'>New Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/zimbabwe'><small>Zimbabwe</small></a><br /><a href='/company/essar-group'>Essar Group</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/india'><small>India</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Office of President Mugabe, Environmental Management Agency</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Department of Food Science and Post Harvest Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Environment Africa</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>LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>LATENT (no visible resistance)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Local scientists/professionals<br /> The media</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Arguments for the rights of mother nature</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), Genetic contamination, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Mine tailing spills</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Accidents, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, 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, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), 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>Corruption</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Mobilizers are proposing that New Zimbabwe Steel Company recycles its waste water. Apart from saving the river from pollution the company will also cut production costs significantly since it owes Redcliff council money in unpaid water bills.</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>Environmental justice was not served because no remedial action was taken to stop disposing effluent into the Kwekwe river. A Manager at New Zimbabwe Steel Company recently admitted that they were dumping untreated industrial watse water into the river. Environmental Management Agency has done nothing, possibly due to the involvement of politicians at New Zimbabwe Steel Company.</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> 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> Hazardous Substances and Article Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Jonathan R. Chinhanga Department of Food Science and Post Harvest Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Impact of industrial effluent from an iron and steel company on the physicochemical quality of Kwekwe River water in Zimbabwe. <br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> (see also attached file)<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> The Hindu, Essar Africa takes control of steel plant in Zimbabwe<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Think Africa Press, Zimbabwe Banks on Essar Group for Zisco Revival<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Herald, Zisco revival set to create 7 000 jobs<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Zimbabwean, Ziscosteel: A chronically ill giant<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Herald, Recycling of water vital<br/><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 Comments</td><td>0</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>
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