This tragic news, shared by YLNM partner the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, reveals how the mining industry’s impacts on water brings communities, and especially youths and women, into contact with dangers beyond pollution that often remain undiscussed and invisible. We stand in solidarity with the people of Arda Transau and all others suffering these impacts. Water should be the bearer of life, not death.
Hardly a year after a 12 year
old girl drowned in Odzi river whilst
trying to draw water from a flooded river in late 2014, yesterday, 01
October 2015 at around lunch time, Tadiwa Ranzo a fourth grade boy
went to Odzi River to bath and fetch water and disappeared in the
river. The community of Arda Transsau fears that Tadiwa may have
drowned as his clothes and water container were found by the river
bank. The case has since been reported to the police but by 12
midnight, the police had not responded. The community has organised
some search teams to try and find the boy downstream. By 5am today
Tadiwa still has not been found and the community in Arda Transsau are
continuing with the search.
The water problems in Arda Transsau have mainly been caused by Anjin
and Government’s decision to introduce paid tap water to the community
relocated from Marange. In Marange, the community used to use borehole
water which they did not need to pay for every month. Other mining
companies like Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources and Diamond Mining
Company have installed boreholes to the families that they
The families relocated by Anjin could not afford to pay for the tap
water and their water supplies were cut off in June 2014 due to
non-payment. Without any source of livelihoods and having lost their
land to the mines, the community displaced by Anjin have no means to
paying water bills and therefore have to rely on fetching unclean
water from Odzi River for drinking and other household use.
The imposition of tap water to the families relocated by Anjin has
increased the household burden on women and children as they have to
walk long distances to fetch water. This further compromise the
children’s right to education as the children have less time to do
school work since they have to walk long distances in search of water.
It is CCDT’s and the families relocated by Anjin’s hope that the
Government of Zimbabwe guarantees the community’s right to water
through restoration of community boreholes in the relocation area or
providing free portable water to the displaced families. The
Government should provide land to the displaced community so that they
can carry out their livelihood projects and compensate the community
for the losses they suffered as a result of the forced evictions from
their ancestral land.
As the search for Tadiwa continues, it is the hope of CCDT and the
displaced community in Arda Transsau that the Government takes the
necessary measures to ensure that the community’s rights to water and
land are guaranteed. Odzi River is a death trap for women and children
who have to go there on a daily basis to fetch water.