Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mining company dumps large amounts of sulphur in Kafue river affecting water supply



Water supply to some Copperbelt towns has been cut off following discharge of sulphur into Kafue River by a Chingola-based mining company.

Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) Treatment plant was forced to shut down following the reported discharge of sulphur into Kafue River where drinking water is drawn and the move has created erratic water supply to Kitwe, Kalulushi and Chambishi towns.

The water utility company was forced to shut down the water treatment plant due to elevated levels of sulphates in Kafue River which has even affected the fish.

NWSC public relations manager Bivan Saluseki confirmed the development in a press statement, but assured customers that the company was monitoring the situation and would ensure that the water was safe for consumption.

“NWSC would like to inform our esteemed customers in Kitwe that we shut down water supply in Kitwe on Tuesday due to elevated levels of sulphates into Kafue River. This resulted in some of our service areas experiencing erratic water supply. “We would like to assure our esteemed customers that we are monitoring the situation and ensuring that the water is safe for consumption,” Mr Saluseki said.

And speaking earlier, Kitwe District Commissioner (DC) Chanda Kabwe warned that mining companies and others who were discharging poisonous effluents into the river were playing with people’s lives and should be heavily punished.

Mr Kabwe said Government through Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) would ensure that mining companies that were discharging acid or sulphur in the rivers were heavily punished for their actions.

“Some mining companies have made it a habit of discharging sulphur into the Kafue River forcing NWSC to shut down water supply and when this happens, many people suffer because water is used for many purposes.

“On account of the erratic water supply following the shut down after a mining company discharged sulphur into Kafue River, many people were inconvenienced.

So I think such kind of recklessness by mining companies need to be punished severely for their actions,” Mr Kabwe said.


  1. One would think that clear precedent and rules would have been established by now on how to deal with the mining companies on the Copperbelt when they pollute the rivers as this had now happened many times over the years. Punitive measures should be so extreme as to be an effective deterrent and where human life is at stake even consider withdrawing their mining licenses altogether. This should not be rocket science!!

    • Mining companies heavily funded PF campaigns. Nothing can be done to them. These warnings are just meant for the camera.

    • If ZCCM did it, why can’t they did it?
      We talk about these mines as though the employees are foreigners. These are fellow Zambians who are in charge. Almost all the mining engineers and so on are Zambians. So, why are they doing this? It shows that these things were happening even under ZCCM but we just could not know because it was GRZ who were the owners.

    • KCM should be sued billions for this. A mining consortium that allowed its tailings dam to break, kill people downstream and pollute rivers feeding into the Amazon have been fined billions of dollars in Brazil. What is special about KCM? Why should they continue to disregard Zambian law at will?

    • @shotput so even Mwanawasa was funded by the mines? Please take time before you post unsubstantiated accusations. This has been a problem even before your parents were born.

    • Many companies that come to Zambia do not respect the Zambian people, because they see that the Zambian leaders themselves do not respect the people, nor do they treat them with honor and dignity. Some of these companies have racist elements in them who still believe that Africans are sub-human and not worth of any respect. What this company did, if it was in a developed country such as USA, they would’ve been made to pay hefty fines, and risk getting kicked out of the country. But they know in Zambia you can do anything you want and get away with it, because the leaders are idi0ts who will not hold them accountable. And remember this is not the first time. Go to YouTube and watch “Stealing Africa-Why Poverty?” and see what’s happening to Zambia. The video starts somewhere in Europe…

    • (Continued)… but it’s all about Zambia. These companies are busy poisoning the poor Zambians, while Lungu is busy aimlessly flying all over the place in comfort. What a shame.

  2. Now I agree with what the late fire-brand and former President, Chilufya Sata used to say about these UNDER FIVES now in Government. Surely ignoring a Mining Company discharging such poisonous substances in our rivers at will? But then before these mining companies start their businesses in our country, isn’t there certain guidelines on environmental issues that should be followed? What consequences/penalties should be meted therefore to erring companies? Should they just apologise and go scot-free whilst our fishes and indeed people are poisoned? Come on Zambians PLEASE SHUT SUCH A MINE down and send all the management team to PRISON!!!

  3. Guys,
    When you are poor, and beggars…YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT SUCH PRACTICES.
    It is for such reason that the mining companies invested in Zambia and not Indonesia or Chile.
    They are fully aware that they can get away with murder. The government will pardon them 10 times over.

    • It is spineless Africans like you that caused our brothers and sisters, creations of the Lord Jesus, to be taken into slavery. Your ignorance and weakness I hope is not passed onto your children. Zambians can stand up and sue the mines. It is that prudent.


  5. Just wait, you ain’t seen nothing yet. You have signed a nuclear energy agreement and those things come with equal effluent like for the mines except many-fold toxic and lethal! After those Russians have corrupted your feeble leadership you will have nowhere to complain!!

    • Spot On Kalok, just having the exact same thuoghts.
      These inept P.F Mules cannot even enforce simple collection of Market or Bus terminus rates, have lamentably failed to collect garbage, sewers are blocked, with rivers of effluence the new norm. Power Blackouts are fashionable, & they pat one another on their backs, when they restore power after a week. Now this Deadly P.F, Illegal Cabal of political misfits are day Dreaming of Nuclear Power??
      SADC & A.U, should seriously think this through, & Veto it, as once these joker P.F misfits mess up, the whole region will be polluted with radiation, & Edward Chagwa if not already out on his tours, will collect his bottles of Mosi, Windhoek Special, & Jameson Whisky from State house, jump on the Presidential Challenger & flee Zambia, leaving…

    • cont;
      leaving you & your children to fry in radiation, closely followed on Edward Chagwa’s heels will be “Big Neck Kambwili” who has the corrupt means to flee a “Disaster Zone” after all remember Big Neck love the word “Disaster”

  6. Stern action must be taken against the company, even site them for attempted murder for this murderous act. Our lives are not that cheap as to be jeopardized in this manner. A serious government would institute thorough investigations immediately and spare no statute to throw at this company. In fact management should be site for criminal offences!

  7. Our people in authority do not seem to know who dumped the sulphur int the river, because if they did then we should not have been talking about mining companies. Instead we should have been naming the company involved. for example company X mining company has dumped sulphur in Kafue river. Or is it an issue of our reporters who have not obtained enough information on which mine is responsible?

  8. And the Govt is planning and signing Agreements on Nuclear Energy… wait till hazardous radioactive Uranuim waste hits the people and the environment. The Govt has no capacity to hold these investors accountable.

  9. This crop of government leaders is the worst! ever sounding warnings but NO action! As for that DC, what can he say about KCM when the mine has spent money renovating his house in the ‘name of giving back to the community’. SHM

  10. ZEMA is like a dog that barks but does not bite. Nothing will be done to the culprit. For those that have worked in the mines, we all know what they are supposed to do in order to avoid pollution.very sad development indeed.

  11. Tax evasion is theft and a criminal offence, tantamount to money laundering. It usually takes the form of abusive transfer pricing or trade mispricing

  12. ZCCM used to do this as well. It is only now that we have media everywhere and due to these people being foreign investors are we complaining. There might be a bigger Australian mining company trying to chase off KCM. kikikiki. ZCCH-IH should pay for this. They started this mess.

  13. Here we go again, our good investors coming to Zambia to do what’s best for the local people. Useless leadership is why all this is happening while Edger “Tourist” Lungu is out of the Country.

  14. They do this with impunity. If they were real investors with clean hands they ‘d fear to lose their investment and face hefty penalties but since they are in charge of our corrupt government they can do whatever they like. Soon in Zambia we will start fighting back directly. Personally, I’m really getting sick of these antics.

    Unfortunately in Zambia we don’t have a functionimg government, all systems of governance, & institutions are inept & failing, while the leader is NEVER at home busy having an endless perpetual party abroad.
    “Aku Dununeni fye”, as one blogger already recommended to Zambians. You really deserve this!
    In fact this will be a chance for Your opportunist Belly P.F politicians to put more money in their own pockets, coz as we speak, they are queuing up at the polluting companies offices offering to take “Juicy Bribes” to ensure theres no consequences, or penalites paid for this SERIOUS FELONY of WANTON CRIMINAL POLLUTION.

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