the authorities are attempting to calm public opinion

In Fort Dauphin, within the far southeast, suspected incidents recorded since mid-February in rivers and lagoons across the mining firm QMM (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto) are worrying. Yesterday, throughout a joint press convention, the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Water and the heads of crucial public our bodies associated to those themes broke their silence in an try and make clear some grey areas in their very own manner.

as reported from Antananarivo, Sarah Tetaud

Smelly, slimy water and lately useless fish floating on the floor in a whole bunch. And this simply just a few days after the exploitation of ilmenite was accepted by the authorities to instantly launch into the lagoon the rainwater that threatened its course of water retention basins to flood.

In entrance of the press, Ladisla’s Rakotondrazaka, Minister of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, is attempting to settle down. “I point out that the spill point is to the left in the direction of the current but the fish found dead is to the right. That is why we can not establish a causal link to the incident without scientific evidence. It is in the government’s interest to preserve the public interest. But the private sector who have received their legal permit also deserve protection from the government. “

A motivation removed from convincing civil society organizations, the primary to convey the fears of the native inhabitants, at the tip of February.

Yesterday, specimens of useless fish and water samples arrived within the capital to be analyzed by the National Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology. The outcomes ought to be recognized shortly and revealed, guarantees Vahinala Baomiavotse, Minister of the Environment and Sustainability.

“We have the right to question ourselves about this type of incident. So far we can not say that there is a cause and effect link or what the level of risk is for the population. We are awaiting the results of independent research from INSTN before we can draw conclusions. We applies, however, the polluter pays principle in Madagascar, so if it turns out that QMM’s responsibility is committed, the company will pay and do what is required in terms of restoration (of ecosystems, editor’s note). “

Since Monday, fishing actions have been banned across the manufacturing unit’s outlet for security causes. QMM has undertaken to supply consuming water to the villages the place useless fish have been discovered and to alleviate the financial losses suffered by fishermen.

According to the Swedish Water and Sanitation Authority, probably the most critical danger of air pollution has been averted: “By allowing the mining company to discharge its rainwater into the lagoon, the risk of water from the operation (process water, editor’s note) does not flow into natural environments.”

The extra rainwater could be immediately related to the passage of the primary cyclone, Batsirai, on 5 February.

For Vahinala Baomiavotse, these incidents should result in extra radical decision-making. “This manner of doing issues, this dumping course of that QMM has adopted is not any longer acceptable in future tasks. Even they admit it. This is maybe the lesson to be discovered from all this. Ultimately, Madagascar should introduce closed circles [aux industries extractives] if we wish to proceed with mining investments. »

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