Mana PoolsZambia’s High Court yesterday granted an injunction against the government’s overturning of an earlier decision to reject a Large Scale Mining Licence for Zambezi Resources’ copper project in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

The decision of the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection the Hon Harry Kalaba, is stayed pending the hearing of an appeal. An interparte hearing is scheduled for 18 February 2014. Zambia Reports had recently reported the injunction had been granted but it was the application by Action Aid that was lodged whose decision was made on February 6, 2014.

The decision to stop the mining follows the filing of an injunction on Friday 31 January by the Lusaka-based Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Forum – supported by ActionAid Zambia -, which refutes claims made by the Minister that all potential impacts of the project would be addressed by cost effective measures and technologies.

ActionAid Zambia Country Director Pamela Chisanga said:

“We fully support the High Court’s decision to halt this project while the case undergoes an appeal. There are concerns raised by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) as part of its rejection of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) which must be seriously considered.

“The government has failed to address the negative impacts of mining on the livelihoods and wellbeing of citizens and it is strange that they have decided to authorise this project when Environmental Impact Study failed to meet the required standards.

“The rural communities who live in the areas around the park will certainly suffer if the mine goes ahead, particularly due to the pollution of their water sources.”

From : Zambia Reports

7February 2014

By Nse Udoh