1 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Cyanide in Gwanda Dam

Bulawayo Bureau — Tests have shown that water in Gwanda town's main supply dam is contaminated with cyanide suspected to be from surrounding mines. Cyanide is used in gold processing and can cause death in humans if

swallowed. Gwanda Town has been without water for nearly two weeks due to emergency water rationing following reports of contamination.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority's Umzingwane Catchment manager Engineer Tommy Rosen yesterday confirmed that traces of cyanide had been found in Gwanda's water.

"Yes, the water has been contaminated. Preliminary results have shown that there have been traces of cyanide. We found that raw water was acidic because the pH was down," said Eng Rosen.

"Gwanda draws its water from Blanket Dam but contamination has been found at Pickup Weir. For now it is difficult to tell who is responsible for the contamination as it has not been clearly proven."

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