Showing posts with label Chanda Kabwe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chanda Kabwe. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 January 2017

World Bank's US$65.6M Credit Targets Zambia's Polluted Towns

World Bank Team with Central Province Permanent Secretary
By Paul Shalala in Kabwe

The World Bank has kick-started a five year environmental program aimed at alleviating the suffering of the people in three Zambian towns which are heavily polluted and whose residents have been affected by pollution.

The Zambia Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement Project is funded through a US$ 65.6 million credit facilitated by the World Bank’s International Development Association.

The project aims at reduce environmental health risks for people residing in polluted mining areas in Kabwe, Kitwe and Chingola Districts.

For the past 52 years, mining has been Zambia’s biggest revenue earner.

The country has largely depended on minerals, especially copper, for its survival.

The country is the second largest producer of copper in Africa and the third in the world.

However, this natural resource has its own challenges.

With over decades of mining having been done in Zambia, the legacy of mineral extraction has not been good.

In mining towns like Chingola, rivers and streams have been contaminated by the mines.

This has led to people getting sick while a handful have died due to pollution.

At an Action Aid-organised forum for residents of Chingola to speak out about pollution last month, many residents could not hide their anger.

“We have seen people die, we have seen people getting sick, we have seen water polluted. But nothing is being done to stop this pollution,” said Bernadette Mulamba, a Chingola resident and an environmental activist with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.

A few days earlier, Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo had complained of Zambia’s largest mining firm Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) of having polluted the Mushishima stream leading to fish die and villagers picking and eating it.

“KCM has polluted the.Mushihsima stream killing fish. Because of poverty, our people are eating the dead fish and some have become sick, said Mr Tembo.

The story is the same in Kitwe which hosts major mines.

Here, both air and water pollution has been reported.

In December last year, the Kafue river which supplies water to the city of Kitwe was polluted with high levels of sulphate which forced the Nkana Water and Sewerage Company to switch off water supply to the city which has over 500,000 residents.

This was followed by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) instituting investigations on seven mining firms which discharge water into the Mwambashi stream and the Kafue river.
ZEMA inspectors collecting samples at Muntimpa Dam

ZEMA inspectors took samples from the seven companies and tested them in three separate laboratories but to date, the results are still being awaited.

And in Kabwe, the legacy of lead and zinc mining is evident.

The town, which is infamously called a ghost town, is said to be the worst hit city in the world in terms of lead poisoning.

According to data from the World Bank Country Office in Zambia, studies done in 2003 – 2006 showed that the content of lead in soil in certain areas of Kabwe were as high as 26,000 mg/kg against the acceptable levels of about 10 to 50 mg/kg making the land unsuitable for residential and agricultural purposes.

With these case studies and accounts of real pollution in the three mining towns, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on 20 December, 2016 approved the credit for the Zambia Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement project.

The project is expected to benefit 70,000 people who live in the areas heavily polluted by the mines.

On Saturday, a team of World Bank officials from the Zambian office and the bank’s international headquarters in Washington DC visited Kabwe to launch the project.

The team explained why the Zambia Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement Project is important to people in the three mining towns.

“Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement Project will be implemented for five years from 2016 to 2021. The project’s objective is to reduce environmental health risks on the local population which is associated with mining in criticall polluted areas of Kabwe and other Copperbelt towns,” said World Bank Country Manager Ina-Marlene Ruthenberg.

She revealed that the project will: “Clean up some parts of the old mining town of Kabwe which still has unacceptably high levels of lead in the soil and high Blood Lead level among children, resulting from the past lead mining in the area.”

And newly appointed Central Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kabwe, who hosted the team in his office, pledged the Zambian government’s support for the project.

Mr Kabwe, who is just a few days in the office, spent the past three years as District Commissioner in the mining towns of Mufulira and Kitwe which are both polluted by mining.

“Having come from the Copperbelt where I saved in the mining towns, I pledge my support to ensure this project succeeds. Central Province is predominantly an agriculture area and pollution affects the crop. This could also affect food security. So we will ensure this project succeeds so we can fight poverty,” said Mr Kabwe.

The Project will work with the City Councils in Kabwe, Kitwe and Chingola to ensure that the impact in terms of implementation is owned by the respective local authorities.
The polluted Shimulala stream in Chingola

And leaders in the respective municipalities are happy that the project will alleviate some of the suffering their people go through.

Kabwe Municipal Council Director of Public Health Paul Mukuka had this to say: “In the past we have had JICA (Japan International Corporation Agency) and the Copperbelt Environment Project doing a number of studies in Kabwe. We hope the coming of the World Bank project will help save more lives from pollution.”

For Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kangombe, the project is more than welcome to the country's second largest city.

“We commend the World Bank for committing US$65.6 million to this project. We welcome this project and hope it will help us reduce the effects of pollution in Kitwe. We however wait to learn the scope of work,” said Mr Kangombe.

Kitwe-based Ministry of Mines Director of Mine Safety Gideon Ndalama will serve as the National Coordinator for the Zambia Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement Project.

In this role, Mr Ndalama will work with the World Bank, the three municipalities and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency.

“This is a locally entrenched project, we should all own it. This is the only way we will have sustainability,” said Ndalama.

In terms of benefits to the local people, this project targets to provide medical interventions to over 30,000 children.
The projects plans to reduce Blood Lead Level (BLL) by 50% among children under the age of 15.

Over 4,000 of these children are expected to be tested for BLL by 2022.

World Bank Environment Specialist Mwansa Lukwesa explains that the health component to the Zambia Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement project is important because pollution has effects on people’s health.

“The project will test and treat children under the age of five and giving them supplements. The issues of lead poisoning are linked with nutrition because most of the people affected are poor,” he said.

By the year 2021, the Zambia Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement Project is expected to reduce lead contamination in Kabwe by 70 percent.

Further, the project also aims to empower 500 women and unemployed youths with income generating activities which will keep them away from jobs that expose them to lead poisoning.

Due to lack of jobs, some Kabwe residents have broken locks to the tailing dams and opened them to have access to quarrying stones.

The Zambia Mining Environment Remediation and Improvement Project is the second environmental program the Bretton Woods institution has funded in Zambia to fight pollution in mine areas.

Between 2003 and 2011, the World Bank funded the Copperbelt Environment Project which produced some findings which the current project aims to build on.

Kabwe was at the center of lead mining from 1902 until the mine was closed in 1994.

Illegal stone quarrying in the former mine has continued and a recent tour by this blogger found some residents conducting driving lessons at the former mine site.

All these activities increase people's exposure to lead.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was also produced as a 7 minutes documentary which aired on TV2's Morning Live Program on 19 January 2017 and it was again broadcast on TV1's Newsline program on 20 January 2017. You can watch the documentary which aired on Newsline on this YouTube link: Zambia Mining Pollution Documentary

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Army Worms Destroy 20,000 Hectares of Maize In Central Province

Chanda Kabwe (in blue) sprays a maize field in Kapiri Mposhi
By Paul Shalala in Kapiri Mposhi

Over 20,000 hectares of maize has so far been destroyed by the fall army worms in Central Province since the first cases of the pests were reported in the region late last year.

Newly appointed Central Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kabwe says the region has now become one of the hardest hit by the pests alongside the Copperbelt province.

Mr Kabwe says the deployment of Zambia National Service (ZNS) officers across the province has helped contain the fall army worms in most of the districts which are hard hit.

“So far, the situation looks under control. We have distributed over 10 thousand chemicals across Central Province since the fall army worms were first reported. We have another consignment coming this coming week, we are doing everything possible to fight these pests,” said Mr Kabwe when he toured some affected farms in Kapiri Mposhi’s Kambosha area on Friday.

The Central Province Permanent Secretary assured farmers in the province that government is doing everything possible to ensure that they have a good harvest at the end of the current farming season.

And Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner Peter Mwiinde has revealed that about one thousand four hundred hectares of maize have so far been sprayed by the authorities.

Mr Mwiinde says the District is this weekend expected to receive more bottles of the chemicals to spray the remaining one thousand hectares.

“We received 700 litres of the chemicals to fight the army worms. So far we have sprayed 1,458 hectares but we are still remaining with 1,000 more hectares. Am confident we will spray them too and produce a bumper harvest this year,” said Mr Mwiinde.

Meanwhile, one of the hard hit farmers is Mary Zimba, whose three fields in Kambosha area along the Great North Road were attacked by the fall army worms late last year.

“When my fields were attacked, I had lost hope. I was worried that this year we will be in poverty. But with the free chemicals I received from the agricultural extension officers, my crop has been saved,” said Mrs Zimba.

A check in her three maize fields found her crop was growing well and had reached knee level.

Tomorrow, authorities in Kabwe, the provincial capital, will be deploying inmates to beef up the ZNS team which is fighting the army worms in the fields.

Due to security reasons, the prisoners are only expected to spray fields which are in the outskirts of Kabwe town.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

300 Hectares Of Maize Destroyed By Army Worms In Kitwe

Army Worms on a maize stock
By Paul Shalala

Over 300 hectares of maize have so far been destroyed by the infamous army worms which have invaded Kitwe in the past three weeks.

Kitwe District Agricultural Coordinator Dr. Raphael Muyaule says the outbreak has left over 150 farmers affected, threatening this year’s harvest.

Dr. Muyaule says the damage caused by the army worms is worrying.

“We are very worried by the damage these army worms are causing. All parts of Kitwe are now affected and from our assessment, most maize fields have suffered more than 40 percent damage,” said Dr. Muyaule.

He said this in an interview today in Minsaka area where he accompanied Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe who donated chemicals to farmers affected by the army worms.

And Mr Chanda urged the farmers to ensure they utilise the chemicals well and reduce the impact of the invasion.

“Spray the chemicals when you are sure it will not rain that day because once it rains, the chemicals will be washed away,” said Mr Chanda.

In Minsaka area, several farmers have lost their maize to the army worms.

Some of the affected farmers are worried that the creatures will reduce their harvest next year.

Alick Nguni who has lost his five hectare field of maize to the army worms says he hopes government can help him survive next year.

Other farmers are also crying foul.

Agriculture officers preparing chemicals
“I had a good harvest last year and bought a canter for myself. But now am worried because these army worms have destroyed my crop,” said Namakando Liwanga.

Government has bought cyclone and nimbecidine chemicals which it is distributing to the affected farmers.

So far, farmers in Minsaka and Luongo areas of Kitwe have received their chemicals today.

Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture have since been dispatched to various parts of the city to sensitise farmers on how to mix the chemicals and spray it on the affected maize.

Army worms, whose scientific names are spodoptera exempta, are making their second appearance in Zambia in three years.

During their first invasion in 2013, the creatures destroyed crops countrywide.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Copperbelt Activists Call For Criminalisation Of Child Marriages

A young mother in rural Zambia
By Paul Shalala

Stakeholders in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province have called for the criminalization of child marriages to protect school-going children from early marriages.

According to World Vision International, Zambia has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world with 42% of women aged 20-24 years married by the age of 18.

During a provincial experts meeting in Kitwe on Monday, Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe called for the country to come up with stringent laws which would punish parents who marry off their school-going children.

Mr Chanda said it was sad that children were being married off at an early age and most of them were dropping out of school and becoming parents.

“Some parents, when they see their girl children, they see wealth. We need to start arresting and jailing such irresponsible people so that the girl child can finish school and seize all the opportunities the world has in store for them,” said Mr Kabwe who heads local government departments in the mining town of Kitwe.

He regretted that Zambia has few women in positions of decision making and child marriages were making the situation even worse as girls who were intelligent in school are having their education cut short by early marriages.

And Chileshe Soteli, the Chiefs Affairs Officer in Lufwanyama District called for the punishment of under age children who abandon school and insist on marrying.

Ms Soteli, who narrated how she has over the years dealt with numerous cases of juveniles who opt for early marriage, said there was need for the minors to be punished as a deterrent to would be child brides and child grooms.
Chanda Kabwe

“I come from a rural district where child marriages are common. We plead with these children to stick to school but they insist on marrying. I think we need a law which will prescribe a form of punishment for such children because the situation is getting out of hand,” said Ms Soteli.

And gender activist Sharon Chisanga says most school going children are forced into early marriage because of their parents’ failure to raise money to sustain their lives.

Ms Chisanga, who is also Provincial Coordinator for the Young Women Christian Association, told the meeting that there was need for society to curb this vice because it is depriving  the nation of potential female leaders.

“Parents are also to blame for this problem. When young girls sleep in cabins, they feel uncomfortable and they hope to get married and sleep in better homes,” she said.

Cabins are small houses which were built as temporal houses for single miners on the Copperbelt but over the decades, they have been transformed into family houses despite their small size.

The provincial stakeholders meeting on early marriages was organised by the Law Development Commission to find suggestions from stakeholders on whether to criminalise early marriages due to the escalating cases across the country.

The commission decided to start its countrywide tour and collection of views in the Copperbelt Province because according to the Central Statistical Office, the copper-rich region has the second highest cases of child marriages among the 10 provinces of Zambia.

“Zambia has two sources of law for marriage. Under statutory law, a person can marry at 21 years and we have no problem with that. But under customary law, a person can be married at any age as long as they reach puberty. This is where we have a problem and early marriages are increasing under customary law,” said Gilbert Mwanza, a lawyer and research officer at the Law Development Commission.

Mr Mwanza, who is leading the countrywide collection of the views, is among officer who are expected to draft a bill to criminalise child marriages and harmonise the marriage age.

The Law Development Commission is a statutory body under Zambia’s Ministry of Justice.

The commission is mandate is to continuously research on laws and propose bills to parliament.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Finally Home Affairs Minister Promotes Injured Police Officer Following #PromoteTheWomanConstable Social Media Campaign

The newly promoted Sergeant Marjory Moyo
By Paul Shalala

On 1st March, 2016 I launched the #PromoteTheWomanConstable  social media campaign to attract the attention of the authorities and consider promoting Constable Marjory Moyo to Sergeant following her unfortunate accident where she was run over by a speeding mini bus in Lusaka.

A few days earlier, Marjory in the company of other Police officers from Ben Mwiinga Police Post in PHI, mounted a checkpoint at Marshlands where they impounded a minibus but unfortunately, its driver decided to drive off and in the process ran over the young officer.

Videos and still pictures showing her in a pool of blood went viral on social media as she was being transferred to a hospital at the back of a canter provided by a good Samaritan.

She was later evacuated to South Africa where she is now being treated.

Her condition was last time described as stable by Zambia’s envoy to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba.

In launching the #PromoteTheWomanConstable campaign, I wanted the authorities to appreciate the role this lady played in ensuring that our roads are rid of unlicenced and careless drivers.

As a person who runs a minibus company, I know how careless and dangerous unlicenced drivers are and how they drive without regard.

This campaign was to help Constable Moyo get state recognition and be treated as a hero who was injured in the line of duty.

For a number of weeks, i kept posting the hashtag #PromoteTheWomanConstable on Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness.

This morning as I was at the District Administration in Kitwe to replace my damaged National Registration Card, I met Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila in the carpark just when he was about to get in his vehicle to go and officiate at the ground breaking ceremony for housing units in Kawama area.

The Minister had just paid a courtesy call on Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe as per procedure for any visiting government delegation.

“Paul good morning. Am sorting out your issue today,” said the Minister.

I didn’t know what the minister meant and i stood still watching him as he drove off.

At first I thought I had committed a crime but Mr Mvula, a messenger who works at the District Administration told me: “Just call him later, am sure he has something for you.”

I remained shocked and went ahead to replace my NRC which i managed to do within 20 minutes.

At around 11:30, my colleague Clinton Masumba from Flava FM who went to cover the groundbreaking ceremony, called me saying the Minister had recommended the promotion of Constable Marjory Moyo to sergeant.

I jumped in excitement and to me, the words from the minister now made sense.

The minister actually meant my social media campaign #PromoteTheWomanConstable when he met me in the carpark.

Marjory Moyo being transported to the hospital
after the accident
Finally, I feel happy, our hero will now wear three chevrons on her shoulders instead of the blank epaulette she had.

She was injured while trying to save people’s lives.

On Twitter and Facebook when I kept calling for her promotion, I was met with serious opposition.

People called the Police corrupt, uneducated and all sorts of things.

But i kept my faith knowing that one day the young lady will be appreciated.

But am now happy that my social media campaign has achieved its purpose: attracting the attention of the authorities.

According to the rules in the Police, the Minister has powers to promote officers upto a certain level.

Sergeant falls within that category while commissioners are only promoted by the President.

May I now take this privilege and rare honor to wish Sergeant Marjory Moyo a quick recovery and safe return home. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Zambian Pastors Pray For Country's Currency To Regain Value

The Zambian Kwacha
By Paul Shalala

The Pastors Fellowship in the mining town of Kitwe on Wednesday held an inter-denominational prayer session to pray for the Zambia kwacha to regain its strength against manager convertible currencies

In the past 10 days, the value of the kwacha has been fluctuating and it was trading in the range of K11 and K13 to the US dollar.

This has raised concern as traders and businessmen have increased prices for several products and services.

Over 50 Pastors, who converged at Oasis of Love Ministries International in Nkana East, prayed that the kwacha should regain value and bring back normality to the national economy and inspire confidence in Zambians.

In his prayer, Pastor Kautemba Phiri called on Zambians to stop speculating about the currency as it has the potential to reduce its value.

Pastor Phiri, who is Senior Pastor at Oasis of Love Ministries International, said as men of God, Pastors will be in the forefront to build confidence for the kwacha.

"We prophecy that the kwacha will regain its strength. We prophecy that the economy of Zambia will soon be back to its glory days. We pray that this nation will continue to prosper," prayed Pastor Phiri.

The Pastors later broke into individual prayers where the building was engulfed in noise as the men of God prayed in tongues.

And Pastor Charles Muzala, has urged government to come in and help the church rid itself of false prophets and pastors.

Pastor Muzala said some unscrupulous men of God are turning the image of the church by performing fake miracles.

"We are tired of these fake Pastors. We are tired of the church being called names. We ask the government to partner with us to get rid of these who are denting the image of God's church," he said.

 He also pledged on behalf of the Kitwe Pastor's Fellowship to spearhead the National Day of Prayer and Fasting on 18 October in Kitwe as declared by President Edgar Lungu.

The day will be marked by prayers and fasting across the country to ask God to intervene in the current economic crisis the southern African country is going through.
Pastor Muzala also announced that the Pastors Fellowship was in the process of erecting huge crosses at the entrance to Kitwe on the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway and along the Kitwe-Chingola road.
Chanda Kabwe

Earlier, Kitwe District Chanda Kabwe called on the church to guide the nation in the governance of the nation.

Mr Kabwe said the church should also help in praying for the nation over various challenges it is going through.

"Why should we have fake prophets and suspicious miracles? Why should we have fake Pastors in the church of the Lord? This should come to an end," said Mr Kabwe.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Zambia Needs 150,000 Units Of Donated Blood Per Year

By Paul Shalala
Dr. Joseph Mulenga (right)

The Zambia National Blood Transmission Service (ZNBTS) says it needs 150, 000 units of blood per year to sufficiently cater for Zambia’s growing blood needs.

ZNBTS Director  Dr. Joseph Mulenga says the country only manages to donate 100, 000 units of blood with a deficit of f50, 000 units.

Dr Mulenga says there is need for more Zambians to come forward and donate blood which can save more lives in hospitals.

"Blood saves thousands of people. But we need to donate more so that we can save more women and children who need life," said Dr Mulenga during the rescheduled 2015 World Blood Donor Day which was held in Kitwe today under the theme: Thank You For Saving My Life.

He also dispelled assertions that donated blood is used for satanism.

"Many people accuse us of satanism. They say we collect blood for satanism. Ok here iam, am the chief satanism if you like. But our job is purely to save lives, nothing like satanism," he added, amid laughter from the audience.

And Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe says donating blood is a national duty which citizens must be happy of.
Inside a blood bank

Mr Kabwe, who officiated at the event held at Lechwe School, says Zambians must take keen interest in blood donation because the activity saves thousands of mothers and children.

"Zambia is a christian nation, we should uphold life. Lets give blood and save more lives. By giving, we are showing love to one another.

Meanwhile, a recipient of donated blood recounted how she almost died due to lack of blood in her body.

"I was in labour and i was at the point of dying. But because of donated blood, my life was saved. So lets keep giving blood," said Sibo Mwala. 

A number of committed blood donors were honoured by the ZNBTS during the event.
Prominent among them was Akolwa Lishomwa who holds the record for the highest blood donor on the Copperbelt.

The 23 years old has donated blood 56 times over the past 16 years.

Among pupils, who are the largest donors to Zambia’s Blood Bank, Jane Manjabila of Chifubu Secondary school in Ndola was honoured for the highest blood donor among pupils on the Copperbelt.

Jane has donated 10 times.

The Blood Bank at the Kitwe Central Hospital is the reservoir for donated blood for the whole of the Copperbelt Province.
Donated blood

About 30,000 units of blood are donated by Copperbelt residents making this region the second largest blood donating region in Zambia after Lusaka Province.

Of all the blood donated in Zambia, 40% is used by children under the age of 5, another 40% is used by people with different health complications while the remaining 20% is used by pregnant women.