The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has called on people that want to venture into quarrying or sand mining to consult the agency on how best they carry out their businesses without harming the environment.
ZEMA acting Manager for Corporate Affairs Friday Phiri said the environment is a common heritage that supports life and every kind of activity taken would have an impact on people in one way or another.
Mr. Phiri explained that ZEMA is one of the authorities in terms of all mining activities hence those who have been granted mining licences should get in touch with the agency for further guidance.
He said the agency has environmental experts that would give guidance on whether an activity needs an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in order to give conditions on what should or should not be done.
“Basically the EIA process is supposed to be undertaken before the implementation of every development project and an approval or rejection would be given depending on the results,” he explained.
He said the agency ensures that the environment is protected and sustainably used so that the future generation can also benefit from the same.
Commenting on concerns that were raised on illegal sand mining going on along the Kafue river in Magoye, the ZEMA acting Manager for Corporate Affairs said the agency will work with the Ministry of Mines and the local authority in the area to quickly bring the activities to an end.
He said the Magoye river flows into the Kafue River which supports a lot of people and activities that would suffer if it was blocked.
Mr. Phiri further called all those involved in illegal environmental activities to stop because the same actions will eventually haunt them.
“We need to engage in sustainable livelihood activities that will not only be to our benefit but also take care of the needs of the future generations,” he said.
Mr. Phiri said the agency does not condone illegal sand mining or putting up of developmental projects without following procedure.
He warned that those that will be found wanting would face the law as stipulated in the Environmental Management Act of 2011.