THE Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has ordered Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) to shut down its plant in Chambishi for allegedly polluting the environment.
ZEMA Northern region manager Patson Zulu said the agency ordered CCS, a Chinese-owned copper refinery, to shut down its plant and put in place measures to minimise sulphur dioxide which was affecting residents of the farming community.
Mr Zulu said CCS was ordered to shut down its plant following complaints by farmers in the surrounding farming communities that the sulphur dioxide emissions were destroying their crops.
He said the emissions had allegedly polluted the environment and destroyed farmers’ crops which were their source of livelihood.
“I can confirm that ZEMA has ordered CCS to shut down its plant in order to put in place certain measures that will prevent emissions from the smelter from polluting the environment,” he said.
He further said ZEMA officials conducted a visit at CCS yesterday to check on the measures the firm had put in place to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions.
Mr Zulu said the company was implementing certain measures according to ZEMA’s directives.
And the Citizens for Better Environment (CBE) has sued CCS for allegedly polluting the Luela farming community with Sulpher dioxide.
In a statement of claim in the Kitwe High Court, CBE claimed that CCS operates a smelter plant which processes and smelts copper and other metals, directly or indirectly discharges sulpher dioxide and other gaseous emissions.
CBE is seeking a declaration that the farmers of Leula community had a right to a safe and healthy environment and for an order for damages for the nuisance.