Zambia: Govt. & World Bank reportedly agree on a $66 million loan facility to mitigate and reduce lead pollution in former mining town of Kabwe

Author: Jeff Kapembwa, The Southern Times (Namibia), Published on: 19 June 2017

"World Bank funds lead clean-up in Kabwe", 5 June 2017

Zambia and the World Bank have formalised a $66 million loan financing to mitigate and reduce lead pollution in the former mining town of Kabwe, where many residents have over the years suffered a host of health complications as a result of mining activities that started in the early 1990s. Environmental and health experts noted that the majority of Kabwe residents, one of the world’s most polluted areas and lying 150 km north of the capital Lusaka, suffer from respiratory, brain and abdominal related diseases. This is caused by breathing air or drinking water from contaminated water sources. Many expectant mothers are also experiencing anti-natal problems due to lead poisoning...“The good news is that the Zambian government and the World Bank board have agreed to release the funds (loan) to assist in mitigating the effects of lead on the people as well as protect the environment from further effects,” Ina-Marlene Ruthenberg, the World Bank’s country manager for Zambia said in an interview...The mining and environment remediation and improvement project builds on another World Bank financed project – the Copperbelt Environmental Project (CEP), which ran from 2003 to 2011. Remediation activities and management of contaminated hotspots will benefit an estimated 70,000 people living in hotspots and an estimated 30,000 children.

 

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