By NATION REPORTER
SENIOR Chief Musele of the Lunda and Kaonde people in Kalumbila has assured his subjects that ground water in his chiefdom has not been contaminated by mining activities.
The traditional ruler said Government had conducted tests on the water and confirmed it was not polluted by the Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila.
First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has agreed to resume a community water project put on hold last year after complaints from community leader.
The royal establishment and mine management have since agreed that the water quality was not affected by mining activities.
The Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and the Department of Water Resources Development declared the quality of water in boreholes around Musele Chiefdom was not affected by mining.
North-Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu chaired the meeting at which a report was tendered and the two parties signed an agreement.
According to the report, there was no cause or effect relationship between mining activities at Kalumbila Minerals Limited and the water quality.
And Senior Chief Musele said it was not the royal establishment’s intention to blame the mine over the water quality.
‘’That’s why I decided to come and meet the general manager so that we know the way forward to rebuild our relationship as brothers, not as enemies, so that we can work in harmony,” the chief said.
And Kalumbila Mine Limited general manager Morris Rowe confirmed that on the basis of the traditional leader’s agreement to publicly support the foundation’s efforts, work would now resume on the stalled water project.
“It has been our commitment from the beginning that we have a good relationship with the community and I am pleased we have set the record straight. We will gladly help on humanitarian grounds. We are part of your community and we will always do our best to continue with our relationship,” he said. And Mr Mubukwanu thanked both parties for reaching an agreement saying it has been a back-and-forth process which has taken a bit of time and it wasn’t easy.
‘’But I think both teams have demonstrated leadership and this is how we need to proceed going into the future,’’ he said.