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VILLAGERS TO PETITION MINISTER OVER URANIUM CONTAMINATION

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

SINADAMBWE villagers in Siavonga have vowed to petition Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe over suspected uranium contamination of ground water around Mutanga Uranium Mine, which has led to health complications. 

The affected villagers want Government through the Ministry of Mines to urgently move in and ensure their lives and health is protected from mineral contamination in the area.  

Despite the villagers living around the mine pressurising ZEMA to disclose its finding on the water contamination investigation it carried out in the area, the environmental agency has remained mute over the issue. 

The villagers also suspects that ZEMA is deliberately not disclosing its finding to protect the Canadian-owned mining company.  

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation, the villagers complained that they have continued to experience strange diseases including infertility which they suspect is due to contamination of the ground water caused by drilling.

One of the affected villagers, Mr Derick Mbone said the people are tired of the deafening silence from ZEMA, who despite demands by the affected villagers have refused to make known the water test results. 

He said because of the suspected contamination, the people are living in fear of suffering from unknown cancers.  

Mr Mbone said failure by the government to act will result in people to start migrating from the area to more drought areas far from the mining area.  

The current licence holder, GoviEx acquired 100 percent of the Mutanga Project from Denison Mines Corp in 2016, whose operations include the Mutanga, Dibwe, and Dibwe East deposits which are still in their infancy.

Different tests carried in the area have revealed that uranium levels in drinking water sources in the vicinity are alarming.

Other studies have also showed uranium concentrations in drinking water exceeded the safe limit for drinking water recommended by World Health Organisation.

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