News

Mines under pollution spotlight

NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Kitwe
GOVERNMENT has enacted laws to prosecute mining companies and manufacturing industries that will be found polluting freshwater bodies.
Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection permanent secretary Edward Chomba said it is criminal to pollute water and perpetrators will face the wrath of the law under the Water Resources Management Act number 21 of 2011.
“Mining companies should not just drain underground water and pour it into our freshwater bodies. This is a crime and it will now be punishable by law,” he said.
Dr Chomba was speaking in Kitwe on Tuesday when he toured the Nkana Water treatment plant to check on the state of the water infrastructure.
He said all the water bodies will now be policed by the water regulation and compliance department, which is under the Water Resources Management Authority.
Dr Chomba said under the law, industries that would be found polluting water bodies will also be required to remove the impurities from the water and pay charges for endangering people’s lives.
He said water utility firms like Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) are spending colossal sums of money to purify the water, which is usually contaminated with pollutants from the mines.
And Dr Chomba appealed to Kitwe residents to pay water bills to help NWSC meet its operational costs.
He urged management at the water utility firm to invite the community for site visits for them to appreciate the operations to improve the supply of water to the area.
And NWSC managing director Diana Makwaba said the water utility company spends colossal sums of money to purify its raw water resources, which are usually polluted by the mines.
“As you know we are operating in the mine area and issues of pollution here are serious,” Ms Makwaba said.

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