Translated from an article by LUSHIACTU.COM
The case dates back a long time. The villagers continue to accuse the Société Minière du Katanga of polluting the environment, particularly the fields and rivers. As if that were not enough, the farmers claim that SOMIKA’s acid discharges continue to cause enormous damage in their village, which is beginning to empty.
“We live off our fields, we drink the water from our rivers. Today, we are victims of SOMIKA’s mining operations. By dint of washing ourselves with water from the river in Kibunduka village, we have many pimples on our bodies. This was not the case before. We are sure that it is the acid that destroys all the fruit in our fields,” explains a farmer.
Civil society points to SOMIKA
“SOMIKA, recidivist in environmental pollution” is the title of a press release issued in Lubumbashi by the Platform of Civil Society Organizations working in Decentralization and Public Finance. This organization deplores “SOMIKA’s recidivism in polluting fields, ponds, rivers and the water table.
According to this press release, SOMIKA is accused of “polluting, causing the disappearance of many aquatic species and causing human death in the Kipushi territory. The victims of this pollution are in the Kaponda chiefdom where fields and ponds have been affected. The rivers of Kipopo and Kibunduka have not been spared.
SOMIKA denies the facts, PODEFIP proposes an in-depth study
Despite all the accusations against it, SOMIKA denies the facts and does not acknowledge having polluted the environment in this part of Haut-Katanga province. “SOMIKA is a socially responsible company that has already invested in the social welfare of the surrounding population. SOMIKA is among the first companies to sign the specifications and to execute 90% of them for this year with a budget estimated at more or less 7,400,000 US dollars for a period of five years,” said Patrick Baruti, HRD and Tax Officer, at the end of the guided tour, which ended with a statement without questions from the press.
In its press release, PODEFIP recommends that the political and administrative authorities relocate SOMIKA without delay, compensate the victims of this pollution and set up a monitoring and enforcement commission.
Junior Ndala Dibala ( From Lubumbashi for Lushiactu.com )