Twelve people died and 4,400 fell sick in southern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) following a tailings leak from the Catoca diamond mine in Angola in July, the DRC’s environment minister has said.
Nearly 4,500 people have fallen sick and twelve died in southern Democratic Republic of Congo following a toxic leak from the Catoca diamond mine that produces 75% of Angola’s diamonds, the country’s environment minister said.
There was a leak last month from a reservoir containing heavy metal by-products caused the Tshikapa river to turn red, killing fish, hippos and other animals.
After a visit to Kasai province, where the River is located, Eve Bazaiba said on Thursday that the DRC would ask for reparations for the damage caused but could not yet say how much it would request.
The DRC will seek reparations in line with the “polluter pays” principle, Bazaiba said.
Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, which manages the mine, previously said it immediately took measures to minimise the flow of sediment into rivers and that it donated food baskets to affected communities to mitigate the impact of the spill.