Former President Rupiah Banda has advised that no effort should be spared to ensure that the mining project in the Lower Zambezi National Park does not go ahead.
Joining the First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda among other prominent Zambians in opposing the awarding of the license to Zambezi Resources to mining in the National Park, Mr Banda said he is opposed to the project.
Mr Banda said he is not convinced that due regard was given to a number of important considerations such as the negative impact the mine would have on the lives along the river and depend on it for food, fishing and agriculture.
He said it is a well known fact that mining activities invariably negatively impact rivers because of the sludge and other harmful chemicals and residues that are offloaded in the river and the surrounding areas.
Mr Banda said this alone means that people are exposed to all manner of health risks, and economic ruined as they can no longer make a living from fishing as the fish is killed by the poisons being dumped in the river and watering crops and drinking from a contaminated water source poses further health risks.
He has also observed with deep concern that even the economic benefit that may be derived from the minerals is nothing compared to the long terms damage on the environment and ecosystem that currently supports some of the rarest species of birds, game and forests sitting on a vast area covering 240 square kilometers in the middle of the Zambezi game park which can never be replaced once lost.
Mr Banda encouraged Zambians to always place the wellbeing of future generations ahead of quick economic gains even in the hard times because Zambia will always be there and its future is brighter as long as the current generation acts with foresight and resilience.
He said the fact that so many Organisations and eminent Zambians including Dr Kenneth Kaunda have expressed concern to do with this project should be sufficient evidence that it is not in the public interest.
Mr Banda said this is one project that should unite all leaders regardless of their political affiliation.