By SIMON MUNTEMBA
MORE stakeholders have joined calls for government to revoke the mining license in in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
The Zambia Community Based Natural Resources Management Forum (ZCBNRMF) has said Government must with immediate effect rescind its decision to allow the mining in Lower Zambezi National Park to save the national heritage which was not just beneficial to Zambia, but other countries as well.
Forum chairperson, Dr Rodgers Lubilo said allowing mining activities in the national park would damage the ecosystem of the affected area, on which people are depending for their livelihood.
“It is against this background that Government has powers to correct the past mistakes, by doing the right thing through natural resources conservation, which is critical to sustainable rural development and enhancing national well-being. We say no to mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park,” Dr Lubilo said.
He said what is needed is for the Government to model rural development strategies that will empower people in rural areas without resorting to mining, and tourism is one of the few viable economic sectors in these areas.
As a forum, he said, we will support the Government with an economic development agenda for the people of Luangwa.
Citizen Environmental and Social Concern executive director Conwell Hakapya said his organisation was disappointed with government’s decision to allow the establishment of an open pit mining operation in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Mr Hakapya said the decision would have far-reaching economic, social, and environmental consequences on the Lower Zambezi ecosystem.
He has appeal to the Government to rescind its decision because this action will rob current and future generations of their rich natural resource heritage.
Meanwhile, Civil Society Organisation and Environmental Hub National Coordinator Godfrey Phiri said he is shocked that government has gone ahead to allow mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
And Action Aid Zambia Country Director Nalucha Ziba has implored the new administration to stand by the promises they made to the people regarding the open pit mine project and fostering a green economy and fighting climate change.