DRC government says 12 people died after Angola mine spill | environment news
The environment minister said Congo would seek compensation for the damages it had suffered, without specifying an amount.
Twelve people died and 4,400 sickened in southern DRC after tailings leaked from the Katuka diamond mine in Angola in July, the environment minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said.
After visiting Kasai province, where the Chikaba River has turned red and many fish have died, Yves Baziba said on Thursday that the Democratic Republic of Congo will seek compensation for the damages it has sustained, but has not yet been able to say how much it will ask.
Baziba said the DRC would seek compensation in line with the “polluter pays” principle.
It did not specify exactly how 12 people died.
Kasai County Governor Deodon Bimi banned people from drinking water and eating fish from the Chikapa River after the spill, which he said greatly depleted the river’s fish population.
Reuters news agency reported that Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, which operates the mine that produces 75 percent of Angolan diamonds, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deaths.
The company said earlier that it had immediately taken measures to reduce the flow of sediment into rivers and that it had donated food baskets to affected communities to mitigate the impact of the spill.