Despite Diamond Wealth People Going Hungry in Drought-Hit Zimbabwe - Reuters

Mining and Exploration
09/02/2016 07:31

The news agency reports from the controversial diamond fields of Marange in gem-rich eastern Zimbabwe which have contributed virtually nothing to improving the lives of more than 80,000 people in the area. Due to frequent droughts, people in Marange had hoped the diamond industry would invest in reviving irrigation schemes, since national law requires mining companies to help local communities develop. Irrigation schemes in and around Marange, most constructed decades ago, are no longer operating properly as small-scale farmers cannot pay to maintain or replace aging equipment.

"When the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust was set up by President Robert Mugabe in 2012, the five diamond companies operating there promised to put in $10 million each to support local villagers over the coming five years. Four years on, they have deposited only $400,000 in the trust," according to the report.