Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has constituted an environmental team to probe allegations that the Kafue River, which passes through the mine property, has been polluted. Earlier this month, Mulonga Water and Sewerage Co (MWSC) accused KCM of polluting the river, a critical source of water for the Copperbelt. In the words of the MWSC Teta Vundamina :
KCM has naturally dismissed the accusations and decided to institute its own investigative team. The Environmental Council of Zambia, is also carrying out independent investigations. According to ECZ spokeswoman Irene Lungu the actual source and extent of pollution will be ascertained after the completion of investigations.“I am very sure that even the water you are drinking from Lusaka honourable minister is equally contaminated from here. If the issue of the contamination of the Kafue River, mainly due to mine operations is addressed, it would greatly help us receive cleaner raw water which we can easily treat with less costs on chemicals...The costs on the treatment of water are too high because the other raw water source which is the Kafue River is heavily contaminated"
We shall keep our ears to the ground and our eyes wide open. I have not kept pace with what has happened to the Environmental Protection Fund. Interesting enough the the Petroleum Exploration Bill 2009 also established the Petroleum Environmental Protection Fund. Too many funds, perhaps Mrs Vera Tembo (Deputy Minister for the Environment) when she stumbles on the website can enlighten us? For general discussion on how mining and the local community see - Mining Reflections : Proposition Two.