By IRVIN MUYUMBWA
CONTROVERSY has erupted following government’s announcement that the Kangaluwi open pit mining project in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park will go ahead.
Green Economy and Environment Minister Collins Nzovu has revealed that the mining project will go ahead under strict adherence to measures set by ZEMA because the whole process has been exhausted and the courts dismissed an appeal to stop the proposed large scale open-pit mine for want of prosecution.
But World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Country Director Nachilala Nkombo said it is disappointing that the mine has been allowed to go ahead very close to an important eco-system that is key to the Zambezi fresh water resource and wildlife biodiversity. Ms. Nkombo said the government needs to rethink its position and consider driving this investment to a mining area but not a protected area for biodiversity, water security and wildlife preservation.
And Golden Party of Zambia President Jackson Silavwe said based on the ZEMA report, the government still has the absolute right to cancel the mining licence.
Meanwhile, Zambia National Students Unions President Steven Kanyakula said there are serious impacts of mining in the lower Zambezi which will result in erosion, sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, ground water and surface water from mining processes.