Hwange – Women living in a small town in north-western Zimbabwe are reportedly at risk of contracting cervix cancer following reports that they were allegedly using toxic acidic mine waste to stimulate their sexual pleasure.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG) said that mining companies in the Hwange district were exposing women to serious health risk by dumping toxic acidic waste in unprotected fields.
In an environmental impact assessment report published on Thursday in Harare, the rights group said that the acidic chaff from the mining sites was being used by women as "sexual stimulant".
"These are dump sites for toxic waste but when drying up they leave this acidic mud exposed and we saw women going to collect that mud and we asked what it was for and we were told that it was a sexual stimulant," CNRG director Farai Maguwu was quoted as saying.
Magawu said the problem was prevalent not only at the Hwange Colliery but also at other sites like Makomo, WMK, Chilota and Coal mines.
"It appears that the chemical could lead to cervix cancer and there is a need for mining companies in Hwange to professionally dispose of this acid so that people are not exposed to danger," Maguwu said.
He said that mining companies were supposed to be handling their toxic waste in a professional manner that would not expose people to risks.
According to Zim News: "The Quality of air in Hwange town is questionable due to high presence of coal and carbon dust covering streets, engulfing the town and hardening lungs thereby causing breathing difficulties in villagers who need to take pills or drink cold milk to ease their respiratory challenges".