Awarding of mining license in lower Zambezi an injustice -ZLA

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Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) has added its voice to calls by different stakeholders that government reverses its decision on the awarding of a mining license in the lower Zambezi national park.

In a statement released this morning to Qfm news, ZLA board chairperson Ceaser Katebe has described as sad and unjust development not only to the people living around that area but to the environment at large government’s decision to allow the establishment of a mine in the national park.

Mr. Katebe says his organization feels that the move by the Minister of Lands Harry Kalaba to allow the establishment of a mine in the said national park is wrong and should be rescinded.

The ZLA board chairperson says this is because there is so much at stake if mining is allowed to take place in the national park.

He has observed that people who live around the area will face the risk of displacement due to mining activities and the resulting environmental effects as the area may no longer support agriculture, which is the mainstay of rural communities.

And Mr. Katebe has further observed that in the absence of a resettlement policy, there is no guarantee that the people will be taken care of in terms of resettlement and adequate compensation.

He has cited past experiences such as the case of Kalumbila mining project and the Kariba Dam project which displaced a number of families without following proper procedures and adequately compensating them.

He notes that the ZLA is not against development, but it is important to weigh the costs and benefits of every decision as development should be sustainable, and should not in any way compromise the needs of the future generations.

He says this why the ZLA is also calling upon government to consider the poor resident of lower Zambezi area, and the future generation, by rescinding the decision to authorize mining in the national park.

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