The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) claims that it has surpassed its annual target for projects considered in the year 2023.
ZEMA acting Director-General, Maxwell Nkoya, said the Environmental Assessment Committee of the Board (EAC) considered a total of 1,129 projects against the annual target of 1,000 for the year 2023.
Nkoya in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday, stated that the total investment cost for all considered projects stood at US$6,761,439,050.11 which is equivalent to K172,010,874,206.02.
He said of the total projects considered, 1129 projects were approved while 51 projects were rejected due to inadequate or lack of mitigation measures as well as for being located in environmentally sensitive locations.
“Further, a total of 20 projects were deferred due to insufficient project information for decision-making,” he added.
Nkoya further stated that the EAC held 12 Ordinary and 6 Extra-Ordinary meetings in the year 2023 and considered projects from the mining, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture/forestry as well as energy sectors.
He said among the notable projects considered in the year included applications to set up waste disposal sites for Chama and Rufunsa Town Councils.
“The two Local Authorities intend to set up disposal sites which will consist of waste sorting bays for recycling, incinerators for medical waste with air pollution abatement equipment and cells for burying solid waste,” Nkoya stated.
The ZEMA Director-General said both dumpsites were expected to handle not less than four tonnes of waste per week and that the disposal sites would each be located more than 5 kilometers away from human settlements.
He emphasized that this was an important factor as the nature of activities at such facilities had potential to cause pollution and contribute to the spread of diseases.
“The Agency was elated by the proactiveness exhibited by some Local Authorities who are working towards expanding their waste management infrastructure and introducing recycling in view of the onset of rains,” Nkoya said.
He added that the projects were approved in line with the Environmental Management Act No. 12, 2011 and the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1997.
Nkoya implored stakeholders and the general public to participate in the EIA process and be part of decision – making in 2024 by providing timely feedback on proposed projects as this has an impact on the country’s developmental agenda.
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