Civil society grouping in Mufulira on the Copperbelt hasadded its voice to calls for the urgent resettlement of residents living nearÂ the local Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) in the wake of increasing pollution levels from the smelter upgrade plant.
The Development Education Community Project (DECOP) says it has undertaken a study
in partnership with the Netherlands Institute of Southern Africa whichÂ has revealed
that the levels of toxic emissions being released into the atmosphere had tripled.
DECOP Executive Director, Edward Lange, said this in an interview with ZANIS in
The concerns from the civil society grouping comes barely a day after area Kankoyo
opposition Member of Parliament Percy Chanda has disclosed his intention to drag MCM
to the Ndola High court for the unfriendly and hazardous mining activities by the
Mr. Lange says as a matter of urgency the local authority should consider resettling
residents in Kankoyo and part of Butondo townships, just like it had done to residents of the former and condemned Zambia Railways compound.
He said other than causing serious damage to the surrounding environment in the two
areas, the emission of suplur dioxide to surrounding houses had far-reaching health
consequences on residents.
Mr. Lange wondered why Mopani had failed to work towards reducing the emission of
effluents into the atmosphere despite installing modern equipment at its plant to avert the problem.
He has also called on the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) to closeÂ Mopani and
avail government a lucid report on the dangerous mining activities in the area had actually caused to residents and the surrounding environment.
Mr. Lange wondered why the local mine was not doing anything to safe-guard tailing
dams and other liabilities left behind by the defunct ZCCM.
He said some residents of Kankoyo and Butondo had taken advantage of the scenario
and were now encroaching on the dams in a bid to find copper ore which they later
resold to desperate traders.
He said it was against this back ground that government and Mopani should seriously
consider resettling the residents in the mining townships.