Govt charges Serenje Council to check illegal manganese mining, pollution of Luombwa River


Government has urged the Serenje District Council to closely monitor what is happening at the Serenje dump site in Central Province where some youths are conducting illegal Manganese mining activities.

Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Collins Nzovu, has noted that the Serenje Manganese dump site is situated near the Luombwa River which is used by the community in Kabundi for various purposes and this may cause health hazards for the people that consume water from the said river.

Nzovu said the Council should work together with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to protect the environment, human health in addition to the government earning revenue from the said operations.

He said government priorities the safety of workers and would not want a repeat of what happened at the Black Mountain in Kitwe District on the Copperbelt Province.

Touring the Serenje Manganese Dump Site on Sunday, Nzovu encouraged the youths to form cooperatives and formalise the operations by getting the relevant licenses from Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Ministry of Mines and the Forestry Department.

He said doing so will ensure safety for the miners, the environment and the surrounding communities.

“The youths have descended on the Manganese dump site and I am told and I have seen that it is high grade Manganese. They are getting them into these small heaps valued at K60. Buyers are from Pensulo area where there are alot of Manganese Processing Plants,” he said.

Nzovu said this is a major concern to Government and that is why it has decided to do this operation to find out if they have formed cooperatives and have other relevant documentation from ZEMA, Ministry of Mines and the Forestry Department.

Read More:Govt alerts on ‘worst violation of Kafwa stream by manganese mining company, Truestone Mineral Ltd

He said illegal mining without the necessary safe guards can be very dangerous.

“Government is ready to work with the youths on the Serenje Manganese Dump Site. it would be difficult to get any gains from the dump site if the activities cannot be followed and monitored,” Nzovu said.

He has urged people to follow the laid down procedures when they want to invest in the country.

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