Critics claim that the Zimbabwean government is failing to stop diamond mines from polluting village water supplies in Marange.
The Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe have been an infamous example of so-called blood diamonds. The Mugabe regime has been accused of illegally diverting funds from the mines, which hold an estimated 25 per cent of the world’s diamond deposits, to bolster its oppressive security forces.
Now, the impoverished residents who live near the mines have another cause for concern. Cattle drinking water from the Odzi River downstream of diamond processing facilities have been dying, residents say. 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.