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.