Friday, January 04, 2008

Zambian Polluters

At least 13 people in northern Zambia have been admitted to hospital after drinking water alleged to have been contaminated by a nearby mine . Those admitted to hospital in Mufulira were suffering from abdominal pains and vomiting .

Officials from Mufulira, who visited the site, claim acidic effluents from Mopani Copper Mines accidentally entered the water supply on Wednesday. Mufulira residents, who number about 800,000, are afraid to drink tap water. They are collecting water from shallow wells or nearby streams. Farmers fear their crops planted near the Kafue River will be affected. There was a near riot in Mufulira yesterday following water contamination , some people had mobilised themselves and attempted to march to the civic centre and Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company offices, but police were deployed in strategic areas .

This , of course is no isolated incident . Mr Mwandila , Mufulira Town Clerk , said this is the second incident experienced in Mufulira, with the first one having happened in 2005. A similar water contamination affected nearby Chingola in 2006. Also a US-based environmental charity , The Blacksmith Institute has stated that the Kabwe in Zambia, site for mining and smelting of metals was one of the most polluted regions in the world . The pressure group War on Want has also in the past accused the Konkola Copper Mines of negligence leading to toxic leaks.

As per usual , workers health is never a priority when it comes to prevention of pollution or profits .

1 comment:

blackstone said...

Very interesting article that i believe highlights ecological racism, or how the health of residents are unimportant, only the resources which can be extracted from the region in which they inhabit.

It must be stressed that this disregard for human life can only occur in capitalist countries. The solution is a socialist revolution which takes into consideration and values human life, and produces goods not for profit but for the benefit of people.

Such practices such as the one you highlight will not be condoned.

Power to the People