Mining activities and their effectes on public health in Zambia: How adequate are the mechanisms for protection

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Mwansa, Mary
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Zambia is largely a mining country with abundant deposits of copper, cobalt, coal, lead and zinc. Historically, the mining industry has been the pillar of Zambia's economy and continues to be the country's largest foreign exchange earner to date. Further, mining has provided important benefits for health, education and the environment in Zambia through infrastructure development and rehabilitation. Alongside these positive developments, changing societies and rapid increase in mining activities in Zambia in the 20th century have produced an ever-increasing variety of circumstances whose consequences are capable of posing irreversible risks to public health and the environment, like any other productive activity. These effects may in some instances last for a long period and affect even the future generation.Despite legislation regulating mining activities in Zambia, the question on whether or not such regulations are adequately implemented to protect public health from the adverse effects of mining activities still remained to be answered. This research therefore set to analyse the effects of mining activities on public health, and assessed the adequacy of the mechanisms for.It was observed and found that greater attention to stakeholder involvement during the EIA process for the implementation of mining projects leads to better environmental assessment and adequate public health protection, and thus to the formulation of projects that deliver more social benefits.
Public health , Mineral industries- Law and legislation- Zambia , Mining sector , Mining activities- Zambia , Environmental law- Zambia , Pollution