THE Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) says it is concerned with contamination of soil, ground and surface water by chemicals from mining activities which in turn negatively impact local communities located near mining houses.
CTPD assistant economic governance and programmes officer Kangwa Muyunda said mining companies had impacts on the environment and economic welfare in the communities they operated from.
Ms Muyunda said CTPD had initiated the process of developing a proposed model Mineral Revenue Sharing Mechanism (MRSM) for local communities or the people to benefit from the mining firms and mitigate mining-related issues that were troubling them.
She said the revenue sharing mechanism would ensure that there were funds allocated for better health services, cleaner water and better sanitation in mining communities which had unique challenges.
Ms Muyunda said the primary justification for the implementation of the MRSM in Zambia was to ensure compensation and beneficiation of local communities, particularly communities where mining operations were conducted.
“Despite increased economic growth there has been very little progress to show in terms of development, particularly at the local level as seen by rising poverty levels which are at 80 percent in some rural areas, which simply implies that host communities have not benefited from mining growth and still do not have access to improved basic necessities,” said.
She explained that Zambia had made significant progress in implementing the decentralization agenda and as such the proposed model of a MRSM would facilitate empowerment of communities in which mining companies operated according to the local development agenda.
Ms Muyunda said the concept of promoting sustainable development in mining communities that was affected by mining operations had gained ground in Zambia over the past eight years, especially after a provision was put in the Mines and Minerals Act of 2008 that ensured that a certain percentage of the mineral royalty was to be shared with the communities.