Members of the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) undertook a reality visit in the company of partner organizations among them the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Caritas Zambia, Centre for Trade Policy and development (CTPD) and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) to Mufurila’s Kankoyo Township.
Board members undertook the visit to the project site for its partner organizations who have been advocating for improved living standards for the people in the mining community who have suffered the effects of activities as a result of the Sulphur Dioxide emission released during mining activities by the mining company Mopani Copper Mines.
Through this visit the board members came to learn how advocacy and lobbying by the partners through the NCA funded programmes has yielded positive results towards improving the living standards of the people of Kankoyo.
Social and Economic Justice (SEJ) Programme Officer Juliet Ilunga who was part of the team described the visit as successful eye opener that the advocacy and lobbying for the improvement of people’s living standards have yielded positive results as evident from the company’s response of putting up an acid plant which captures 97 % of the emissions.
The team paid a courtesy call on the office of the Mayor and District Commissioner who commended the work being undertaken by NCA through its partners in Mufurila District.
A community representative Pepino Musakalu told the gathering during a CCZ organized public discussion last year that the residents of Kankoyo live in dilapidated homes “this township looks like that which was hit by a nuclear bomb, the roofs are torn and the walls have large cracks, you can have full view of outside activities when you are inside the house, even a handshake is possible through the cracks,” he said.
Residents of Kankoyo Township have over the past years suffered the effects of sulphur dioxide emissions and have continued to demand for action to be taken against Mopani Copper Mines for endangering their lives with community members. They have in the past complained of being neglected by government, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to assist them in finding a lasting solution.