Establishing a mining environmental monitoring and compliance mechanism for local authorities in Zambia: a case study of North-Western province.
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The mining industry is witnessing a momentous revolution due to a growing demand for metals, minerals and energy resources all over the world especially in the emerging economies of developed and developing countries. Mining in Zambia has played a key role in economic growth, social development and poverty alleviation but the supply of these resources has come with a lot of environmental and social costs. Most Environmental issues are cross cutting and requires integrated environmental management approach. In order to deal with environmental issues, Zambia has implemented adequate environmental legislation and signed international/regional agreements aimed at addressing environmental concerns. Despite such tremendous efforts, the implementation of these existing environmental regulations has not been satisfactory. Therefore, this study was undertaken in order to identify weaknesses and gaps in Zambia Environmental Management Agency’s (ZEMA) Environmental Management Strategy through determining factors that have contributed to weaken monitoring of mining environmental issues by Local Authorities and formulating an Environmental Audit Tool (EAT) for effective environmental management. A case study was carried out in North Western Province, in Kalumbila and Solwezi Districts respectively. The study utilized survey research through the use of interview guides, questionnaires and observations. A total of 40 questionnaires was purposively and conveniently sampled among participants depending on their responsibilities and knowledge held in environmental related subject and was administered with response rate of 80% and 84% from Solwezi and Kalumbila Council respectively. The primary data obtained from questionnaires was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and Excel. A six-week internship conducted at ZEMA where guided interviews and observations were administered and utilized to establish an environmental audit tool. Using a detailed literature review and questionnaires, the research reviewed that communication failure, administrative interference and lack of coordination, inadequate extension officers and technical capacity are the gaps and weaknesses in the ZEMA’s environmental management strategy. Furthermore, lack of institutional capacity, engagement during license period and collaboration, administrative interference, insufficient knowledge in sustainable mining and Corporate Social Responsibility are some of the factors that have hindered local authorities from monitoring mining environmental issues. It can be concluded that mining environmental issues are cross cutting among a variety of sectors and hence the need for integrated environmental management approach. Engagement of local authorities in environmental management is one way of ensuring efficiency as creation of a safe and healthy environment starts locally.
The University of Zambia
- Mines