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Panic in Chisumbanje as poisonous disposal from ethanol plant kills livestock - PYD Press Release

Panic in Chisumbanje as poisonous disposal from ethanol plant kills livestock - PYD Press Release

 

Great fear and panic has gripped villagers as emissions from the ethanol
production plant are killing livestock and destroying the environment in
Chisumbanje.

Villagers are complaining that since last week, more than 20 cattle, donkeys
and goats have been reported dead after drinking contaminated water from
Jerawachera River. The magnitude of the affected animals is believed to be
higher as some villagers are still to make formal reports.

Jerry Moyana a villager in Chinyamikwakwa said that the situation is getting
out of hand and community members are worried. "As Africans our wealth is
measured by the number of livestock one possesses and we risk being stripped
of our community worthy," he said.

The company is channelling the poisonous wastes from the plant into
Jerawachera which is the villagers' main water source. "We are now living in
fear of death as we rely on Jerawachera water for household purposes," noted
Nixon Hodhera.

Another village strongman, Mafukame Muyambo added, "Jerawachera has been
contaminated. Fish, frogs, birds and our animals are dying; we are worried
our livestock will all die since we have no alternative source to water."
Muyambo's sentiments are shared by the rest of the community members who see
a tragedy of their life.

The situation is getting out of hand as angry villagers are confronting the
company management to address the community concerns.
Relations between the company management and local villagers have turned
vicious as violent clash reports have of late been received at Chisumbanje
police station.

PYD Director Claris Madhuku, commenting on this recent development said his
organisation has been making frantic efforts to establish if the company
underwent the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. "The
environmental impact assessment was supposed to take note of such dangers
before they occur and we are in doubt if it was carried out or whether it
was carried out professionally," said Madhuku.

"It remains everyone's worry why a company pursuing such big project fail to
consider the life of the surrounding communities and why the government of
Zimbabwe remain silent when such a threat to human life is happening,"
Madhuku queried.

Madhuku appealed to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
Management, Hon Francis Nhema and Environmental Management Agency
(EMA) to visit the area and see for themselves.

Jerawachera River serves the greater part of Chisumbanje as the main source
of water and is a tributary of Save River which feeds into Limpopo and
finally into Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile the villagers remain unmoved as they have taken Macdom Investments
to court over lack of consultation and violation of the community's right to
land.

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