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Zambia: Swedwatch report alleges mining related pollution causing food insecurities and compromising livelihoods
Author: Swedwatch, Published on: 28 May 2019
'Copper with a cost- Human rights and environmental risks in the mineral supply chains of ICT: A case study from Zambia', May 2019
In the report Copper with a cost – Human rights and environmental risks in the minerals supply chains of ICT, Swedwatch presents findings from research in Zambia where it assessed human rights risks in the large-scale mining of copper. Copper is used in a vast number of information and communication (ICT) products, and as Zambia is one of the largest copper producers in the world, there is a clear possibility that Zambian copper is found in today’s global ICT supply chains. Zambian mining projects have often been linked to adverse human rights impacts, particularly for communities located near the mining sites.
Swedwatch’s research in two of the country’s mining areas found that environmental pollution from copper mining impacted negatively on the right to clean water and health for community members in the Chingola district. In the district of Kalumbila, community members who had been relocated due to the establishment of a new mine claimed they were facing unemployment and had problems accessing markets where they could sell their crops.
“Swedwatch’s study finds that communities have suffered from food insecurity and lowered incomelevels as pollution of soil and water has degraded their farmland, and that relocation of communities following the establishment of mining projects have proved challenging. Even in cases where a mining company has provided compensation or invested in community programs, livelihoods have been difficult to restore”, says Linda Scott Jakobsson, researcher at Swedwatch.