Socio-economic impacts of mining on local communities: the case of the Kansanshi mine in Zambia

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Mhone, Peter
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University of Zambia
Mining comes with a lot of impacts. Some of the negative impacts of mining on host communities are water pollution (surface and underground), land degradation, air pollution and displacement of people. Despite all this, mining activities do also have positive impacts. Mining activities may bring about technology which promotes rural-urban connections, employment opportunities for the host community and improvements in education facilities, among others. The aim of the study was to assess the socio-economic impacts of mining on people’s livelihoods in communities surrounding the Kansanshi mine and the role of CSR in mitigating the effects. The objectives were to establish how mining activities impact (socially and economically) on people’s livelihoods, examine the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies used by the mining firm to improve local people’s welfare and to establish the prominent needs of the communities surrounding the Kansanshi mine. The study utilized semi-structured questionnaires. A total of 196 questionnaires were administered with a response rate of 81%. The respondents were as follows: host community, mine workers, mine personnel in charge of CSR, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and district local government authorities. The results of the study (socio-economic impacts) revealed that Kansanshi mine, through its CSR initiatives, has built and renovated some schools, clinics, part of the Solwezi General Hospital and some township roads. Despite this, health and educational facilities are far away from most settlements resulting in pregnant women and school going children walking long distances to access health and educational services, respectively. Some roads are in very bad condition rendering them impassable during the rainy season. As a result of this, the communities surrounding the mine feel neglected by both the mine and the government.
Mineral industries--Environmental aspects--Zambia , Mineral industries--Social aspects--Zambia