Government, companies and communities meet in the Manganese Rich Luapula Province of Zambia

Manganese Rich Luapula Province of Zambia
Mining communities of Mansa in the Luapula province, Zambia, where Manganese is extracted, met on November 5th with mining companies and government under the auspices of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) with the theme
The aim of the meeting was to discuss the impact of manganese extraction on communities. This is a follow up on SARW’s first visit to Mansa last year. Last year SARW met government, communities and mining companies and visited the different mines to assess the impact of mining on communities. SARW published a press release “Zambian Manganese Miners linked to government behave just as badly as foreign mining companies”which attracted attention from both local and international media. The community of Mansa urged SARW to follow up with a meeting with government and companies. 
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The meeting in Mansa at the Teja hotel took place at the time when political parties were campaigning in by-election. It attracted attention from both the ruling and opposition parties. The meeting was attended by two chiefs-- Chief Kalaba and Chief Chimese, whose communities are the most affected by manganese extraction.  In total forty five participants from communities, civil society, government and companies participated. The government was represented through the local office of the ministry of mines and the ministry of land, natural resource and environment protection and the local council. Only two mining companies attended despite the fact that the invitation was extended to all mining companies. The meeting was opened by Mr.Peter Chilambwe, the Assistant Permanent Secretary from the Provincial administration.
SARW presented its research report for validation. The report which received approval from the community will now be finalised before its publication.
The meeting identified key problems that need urgent attention from government and companies:
  • Compensation of displaced families;
  • Reverse the environmental damage caused by mining,
  • Maintenance of roads used by mining companies,
  • Agreement between mining companies, government and communities on key social investments.
The meeting also agreed on a plan of action and elected a tripartite committee that will be in charge with its implementation. The committee will meet four times in a year to evaluate progress.