Go Green initiative taken to Zambia’s biggest trade show
August 11, 2017
Employees of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) shared the company’s interventions in the area of the environment with people attending the country’s largest trade show in the capital city Lusaka recently.
Working in partnership with ZCCM IH, which owns 20.6% shares in KCM, (79.4% is owned by Vedanta Resources Plc), Environment Manager Elizabeth Mwamba and Manager Public Relations and Communications, Shapi Shachinda, took time to explain KCM’s Go Green initiative, which focuses primarily on aiding the restoration of Chingola town as the cleanest and greenest town in Zambia.
Several people who visited the stand where KCM was exhibiting expressed satisfaction with the initiatives taken in the last 13 years to deal with legacy environmental issues as well as the company’s plans for the future.
“A lot of people had preconceived ideas that the mines aren’t doing enough to clean up the environment, but most of them now appreciate and are impressed with the interventions KCM has undertaken over the last couple of years. They are now able to see that we are taking the right steps for the long term,” Ms Mwamba commented.
Activists from green movements, government ministers and parliamentarians, students and many others from various backgrounds thronged to the stand to learn about KCM’s $3 billion investments in the last 13 years, of which $800 million has been spent on constructing the Nchanga smelter, which captures 99.6% Sulphur dioxide, and new concentrators with a Zero discharge to the environment and on other upgrades.
Ms Mwamba narrated to the show goers how KCM has planted over 80,000 trees in the last 10 years to revegetate communities and provide an economic benefit through planting of pine trees and citrus fruit trees.
Ms Mwamba said the Go Green Initiative, which was launched in April, was anchored on three pillars, environmental restoration, corporate social responsibility, local economic development.
The initiative seeks to amplify previous interventions through desilting of Chingola streams, Installation of noise reduction measures at East Mills and installing of sound deflectors to minimize noise concerns at Nchanga North Hospital and stepping up of air quality control, among other measures.
“These interventions are excellent. This is very good because most people do not know what is actually happening at the mines, said Director of Green Living Movement, Mr Choolwe Milambo, during his visit to the stand.
Ms Mwamba said KCM had also started the restoration of mined sites by planting 2,000 Pongamia trees on 4 ha land in pilot project to revegetate overburden site at tailings dump number 2, way ahead of mine closures. The project will also lead to the production of bio diesel in the long term when over 400,000 Pongamia trees are planted on a commercial scale on a 650 ha tract of land.
It is the first for a tailing storage facility in Zambia and for elite Pongamia Pinnata trees to be used in mine rehabilitation. At least 500 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs will be created through this project.
KCM has also installed four solar-powered water boreholes to bring clean drinking water to over 8,000 people in Chingola.