Mufulira’s Kankoyo residents tired of unfulfilled relocation promises

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One of the many Kankoyo township houses damaged by acid mists and sulphur dioxide from Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) – Picture by Zipporah Mushala

Residents of Kankoyo Township in Mufulira District say they have had their feel of breathing polluted air from Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) and are tired of Government’s relocation promises which never come to fruition, reports Zipporah Mushala in Mufulira.

And Kankoyo Constituency Member of Parliament who is also Minister of Transport and Communication Brain Mushimba has urged Kankoyo residents to remain calm, stating that Government was still mobilizing resources for the relocation exercise.

Kankoyo residents complain of sulphur emissions from the smelter, stating that some people from the same area suffering from diseases like tuberculosis or asthma die after breathing the polluted air.

A Kankoyo resident Theresa Mwape stated that residents of the area also cannot grow gardens as the emissions scorch the plants and they die.

“We would really like the Government to fulfill its promises of relocating us because we are really suffering from the air pollution here. When we paint our houses, the paint chips off, when we put roofing sheets, they change colour and get damaged in no time. Many new born babies also die here due to breathing the same polluted air,” she lamented.

Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) smelter- Picture by Zipporah Mushala

Another Kankoyo resident, Abiud Phiri said that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government should not forget that the 2021 elections are approaching and that they should not expect the same people whose health is not being prioritized and who are being treated like animals to vote for them.

Kankoyo Township is located right next to Mopani Copper Mines, which produces acid mist from the refinery and sulphur dioxide from the smelter.

And speaking in an interview with the Zambian Eye, Mushimba called for calm among the residents.

The lawmaker said this after learning of an attempted riot which almost occurred yesterday, where some Kankoyo residents picked up stones, intending to throw them at the Mopani smelter.

“Right now, we have started relocating some of the Kankoyo residents who are in eminent danger and we are putting them between Butondo and Zimba townships. However currently, we do not have the resources to do much,” Mushimba said.

“Approximately, we may only have enough resources to carry out a significant relocation exercise in about five years from now.”

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2 Responses to Mufulira’s Kankoyo residents tired of unfulfilled relocation promises

  1. You can never be patient with health issues. What a useless politician this MP is. Patience while your health is being assaulted means getting to the grave quicker.

    Bellarmine Chatunga
    April 24, 2018 at 6:04 pm
    Reply

  2. No you cannot be waiting when your health is depleting, Mr. Minister help your people out of this killer pollution.
    If metal can be eaten like that how about those soft tissues in the body hear the cries of your own people.

    nshilimubemba
    April 25, 2018 at 6:10 pm
    Reply

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