The New Dawn Government says it remains resolute to ensuring a safer Kabwe District, free from lead poisoning.
Kabwe District Commissioner Lennox Shimwamba says Government recently closed mines in Mkushi and Serenje that flouted environmental issues, which is testimony of the New Dawn Government’s political will towards environmental protection.
Mr. Shimwamba says Government was aware that Kabwe Town had been labelled by the United Nations (UN) as one of the most polluted cities on earth due to lead contamination, exposure and poisoning.
He said Kabwe was home to a lead mine from 1904-1994, a period in which smelter fumes covered much of the surrounding soil with lead dust.
Mr. Shimwamba said twenty-five years after the mine closed, high lead levels, exceeding international standards, remained in the soil.
He named areas affected by dust from lead around the former mine as Kasanda, Makandanyama, Chowa, Mutwe-wansofu, and Makululu.
He said the former mine area itself still hosted tailings and other waste from the mine and smelter, including a large waste dump known locally as “black mountain,” and has become a site for artisanal and small-scale mining.
Mr. Shimwamba said the New Dawn Government would therefore, continue to play a significant role in supporting the work of civil society organizations in the actualization of national environmental protection aspirations.
He said the New Dawn Government would promote inclusive green economic growth and development, as well as building an enabling environment for all citizens to participate freely in all national environmental deliberations and natural resource governance.
The District Commissioner was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by Kabwe District Administrative Officer Kennedy Pezo during the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue in Kabwe drawing participation of Ward Councilors, CSO Coalition on Lead Pollution, among others.
Meanwhile, Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) Acting Executive Director Freeman Mubanga revealed that CEJ had launched the truth be told campaign to reveal critical issues surrounding the lead poison in the Kabwe District.
Mr. Mubanga said the Campaign aimed at facilitating the identification of lasting solutions to help curb the environmental crisis.
He said the Campaign would focus on the history disclosure of the mine operations, public health for Kabwe communities, compliance and enforcement, rehabilitation and remediation achievements and compensations.