DRC Government Says 12 People Died After Angola Mine Tailings Leak
Environment minister says Congo would ask for reparations for the damage caused without specifying an amount.
Twelve people also died and 4,400 fell sick in southern Democratic Republic of the Congo following a tailings leak from the Catoca diamond mine in Angola in in July, the DRC’s environment minister has said. After a visit to Kasai province, where the Tshikapa River turned red and many fish died, Eve Bazaiba also said on Thursday that
the DRC would also ask for reparations for the damage caused but could not yet say how much it would also request. The DRC will seek reparations in line with the polluter pays principle, Bazaiba said. She did not specify how exactly the twelve 12 people died. Kasai provincial Governor Dieudonne Pieme also banned people from
drinking water and eating fish from the Tshikapa River after the spill, which he said significantly depleted the river’s fish population. Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, which manages the mine that produces 75 percent of Angola’s diamonds, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deaths, the media reported.
The company previously also said it immediately took measures to minimise the flow of sediment into rivers and it donated food baskets to affected communities to mitigate the impact of the spill.