First lady says KCM is trusted development partner
December 9, 2015
Zambia’s First Lady Esther Lungu has said Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is a trusted development partner for the country following its expansive social investments in the last 11 years.
The first lady said this when she addressed hundreds of residents of Shimulala, Helen and Kakosa settlements on the outskirts of Chingola, where the company’s corporate head office is located. She visited sites of KCM’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.
Mrs Lungu commissioned the new Helen Bridge which was constructed by KCM at a cost of Zk877,635.00 (US$82,640.00). She also laid a foundation stone for an Out-Grower project seeking to empower local farmers and toured other KCM-funded CSR projects.
The newly constructed Helen Bridge has eased movements of over 4,000 people living in the area as they carry produce and other goods to markets in Chingola and beyond. It also connects people to health and education facilities outside of their settlements.
The Nabona out-growers programme targets to provide about 500 small and medium scale farmers with access to markets in an organised way to ensure quality and planned production.
“I want to urge the community to continue to work closely with Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) because this is your trusted partner. KCMhas stood by you in good and difficult times,” she said.
“I must commend KCM for providing 22 hectares of land on lease to proprietors of Nabona as this will create employment for farmers and the young people,” Mrs Lungu said.
Mrs Lungu also paid glowing tribute to KCM for empowering women with life-saving skills in cattle rearing, tailoring and farming.
“I want to attest that it is evident that KCM has spent US$160 million in communities over the last 11 years,” Mrs Lungu told residents after touring some CSR projects, including the cattle restocking project.
“I have seen some of the key projects where these funds have been spent.”
She said it was heartening that the company was focusing on four corporate social responsibility pillars, namely education, health, sustainable livelihoods and sport.
The first lady encouraged KCM to continue uplifting the lives of people in its areas of operations. KCM has given out over 596 cattle in Chingola, Chililabombwe and Nampundwe and also provided 2,327 goats to 26 self-help groups.
Mrs Lungu said social investments by KCM fitted into President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s vision for a public private partnership models for diversifying the economy and shoring up growth.