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LEAD CONTROL INITIATIVE FUNDS VANISH

By NATION REPORTER

HUGE sums of money allocated for lead remediation and improvement in Kabwe are alleged to have been misappropriated.

The funds were meant for the implementation of lead remediation activities in lead hotspots among them, schools in Makalulu, Katondo, Kasanda Mine and Chowa townships.

When contacted, Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary, Barnaby Mulenga, requested for a press query to which he did not respond by press time.

The World Bank allocated $65.6  million for the implementation of the project in polluted mining districts of Kabwe, Kitwe, Chingola, and Mufulira under the Ministry of Mines, Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project (ZMERIP).

A senior citizen, Mr Kabwe Mulenga, told the media in Kabwe that the funds which were released three years ago were missing, leading to a number of projects not being implemented.

He said only one out of about six programmes had been implemented, such as testing and treating of children with high blood lead levels.

Mr Mulenga, who is National Party for Unity and Progress aspiring mayor for Kabwe, said he has attended a number of meetings on the implementation of lead remediation activities but none of them have to date chrome to fruition. He said once voted as Kabwe mayor, he would pursue the matter because the project had not served the interest of the local residents especially the children who are highly affected with lead poisoning.

“We were called by ZMERIP to attend a workshop where we were told to form cooperatives for the nutritional support under the project and apply for funding but when we completed the application process, we were told that no cooperative from Kabwe was successful,” he said.

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