Chiadzwa villagers who were relocated to pave way for diamond mining have reportedly gone for two months without access to water after their reticulation system broke down.
The villagers were relocated to the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Transau in Odzi, Mutare West in 2009.
Villagers have since their relocation been facing perennial challenges including severe water shortages despite diamond mining companies in the area collecting billions of dollars in revenue from the mines.
For the past two months, the villagers have been forced to walk for long distances in search of after their water reticulation system, maintained by the state-entity Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), broke down.
ARDA Transau Relocation Development Trust (ATRDT) representative Tawanda Mufute told a Constitutional Talk Series meeting recently that the situation exposed over 1 000 families at the farm to the risk of communicable diseases. Mufute said:
We have gone for two months without access to clean water. The situation is exposing us to water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid as villagers rely on unprotected sources.
He said companies mining diamonds in Marange should take responsibility and ensure people relocated to ARDA Transau had access to health care and other basic amenities. He added:
When it comes to natural resources and governance, mining companies must take responsibility and ensure communities in where they operate have access to information, health care, and other basic amenities.
A legal expert from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Peggy Tavagadza said there is a pending case that was filed by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) on behalf of the community with regard to access to water.
Resources extraction in many developing states has failed to translate into positive economic and social impact for communities in resource-rich areas.