Zambia Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project (ZMERIP)
Project Name: Zambia Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project (ZMERIP)
Project Duration: 5 years
Project Location: Kabwe, Kitwe, Mufulira & Chingola
Zambia has a long history of mining, which has left a legacy of environmental liabilities in mining towns. Seventy years of mining operations, no formal mine closures, and a lack of concurrent rehabilitation of mining sites has resulted in a massive “environmental mortgage” resulting in ongoing environmental health liabilities and exposures to the local communities. Much of the liabilities and risks have now increased due to natural deterioration of the environment and lack of maintenance.
The Zambia Mining Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project (ZMERIP) is a US$65.6 million, World Bank funded project being implemented by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. The Project aims to strengthen the capacity of national and state level institutions, improve enforcement for pollution prevention and address the environmental health impacts associated with lack of sustainable mining practices. The objectives of the project will be achieved through a combination of targeted capacity building, health interventions, promotion of alternative livelihoods and demonstrative investments for environmental remediation. Overall, the project aims to reduce environmental health risks and lead exposure to the local population related to mining activities in critically polluted areas in Kabwe and Copperbelt provinces.
The objective of ZMERIP is to reduce environmental health risks, including lead exposure, to the local population in critically polluted mining areas in Kabwe, Kitwe, Mufulira and Chingola municipalities while strengthening the environmental management in the mining sector through improved regulatory framework under the following components:
- Remediation of Contaminated Hotspots and Improvement of Environmental Infrastructure;
Financing specific remediation activities and associated support to environmental infrastructure will be undertaken in Kabwe and selected Copperbelt areas to assist Government in addressing some of the accrued environmental liabilities by demonstrating the closure of selected Tailings Dams, which could be used for economic activities with potential for job creation and positively impacting communities.
- Enhancing Institutional Capacity for Environmental Governance and Compliance;
Strengthen environmental governance of the mining sector and other environmental agencies namely Mine Safety Department (MSD), Radiation Protection Agency (RPA), and Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), through a variety of interventions, including policy support and capacity building.
- Reducing environmental health risks through localized interventions.
Support will be given to the municipalities of Kabwe, Kitwe, Chingola and Mufulira. In collaboration with the Project Implementing Units, the municipalities will be the implementing agencies of the Project activities. This component provides for the medical intervention of women and children exposed to lead contamination and empowerment of women and youths with income generation and livelihood activities, among other things. Communities will not only benefit from the project activities but also be involved in designing and implementing activities, such as livelihood enhancement activities and health interventions to ensure sustainability of the activities.
- Reduction in environmental health risks of lead exposure for affected people in Kabwe, particularly children and women (number of exposed people reduced by 50% – based on a baseline survey)
- Core Sector Indicator: Contaminated land managed or dump sites closed under the project (5 contaminated sites rehabilitated).
- Core Sector Indicator: Vulnerable and marginalized people in the project areas that are aware of project investments and benefits (70%)
- Increased employment through increased number of women’s and self-help community-based enterprises (30 CBEs created under the project).
The project is implemented by the Ministry of Mines (MoM) with support from Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (MLNREP), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH), Ministry of Education and ZCCM-IH. The MoM has established a Project Steering Committee (PSC) chaired by the Permanent Secretary – Mines comprising the Permanent Secretaries of the above mentioned ministries, Central Province, as well as Director General (DG) of ZEMA and ZCCM-IH. PSC provides oversight and guidance to the project and implementation of activities.
ZMERIP has set up a Project system, which coordinates activities through the Project Implementation Units sited at Kabwe Municipal Council, Zambia Environmental Management Agency and Mine Safety Department, which also oversees activities at Sub Project Implementation Units at the Radiation Protection Authority (RPA), Kitwe City Council, Chingola and Mufulira Municipal Councils. The Project Management Consultant (PMC) has been engaged at PCU to complement the capacity gaps of the project staff in the implementation agencies, and provide hands-on training to ensure effective coordination and implementation.
Project Milestones Achieved
Component 1 – Remediation of Contaminated Hotspots and Improvement of Environmental Infrastructure:
- ZMERIP launched a pilot study for the In-situ remediation activities aimed at raising awareness on lead poisoning to the community, inform the householders of the proposed intervention measures the project plans to undertake in affected communities, obtain an informed and written consent from the householders on voluntary in-situ remediation;
- Project supported by Geological Survey Department [GSD] at the Ministry of mines and Minerals Development [MMMD] conducted a soil sampling and lead analysis exercise in Makululu, Makandanyama, Mutwewansofu, Kasanda and Chowa to define the level and extent of Lead (Pb) contamination, establishing threats to public health and to propose appropriate in-situ remediation measures of hotspots areas.
- ZMERIP with the support from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (MMMD) Geological Survey Department (GSD) conducted phase 1 of the pilot test remediation activity at Mine Primary School, located in Mutwewansofu. The pilot was successful and lead levels at the school were reduced to below 400 mg/kg from an average 2000 mg/kg in surface soil as per USEAPA standard.
- Conducted a Soil Fertility Study for Kankoyo Township in Mufulira to obtain information appropriate livelihood interventions to be implemented targeting vulnerable women and youth groups.
Component 2 – Enhancing Institutional capacity to strengthen environmental governance and compliance
- Capacity building in environmental impact assessments and livelihood generation has been undertaken to support staff from agencies which include, Mines Safety Department (MSD), Radiation Protection Agency (RPA), Municipalities of Kitwe, Kabwe, Chingola and Mufulira; and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
- ZMERIP has procured state of the art field and laboratory equipment to capacitate Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and Mine Safety Department (MSD). The Portable Industrial Combustion Gas & Emissions Analyzer will be used to monitor ambient air pollutants.
Component 3: Reducing environmental health risks through localized interventions
- ZMERIP in partnership with the Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising experts from the University of Zambia (UNZA), District Medical Office and JICA-KAMPAI developed a health manual and lead treatment protocol for use by medical staff and community volunteers.
- Procurement $2.5m lead poisoning treatment drugs and test kits.
- To prepare for the launch of the lead treatment campaign, ZMERIP has trained 60 health personnel in Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi districts for management of the lead care programme.
- Commencement of lead education and awareness campaigns in schools in Kabwe district with the support from Ministry of Education District Education Board.
- The Project organised an education and awareness workshop for a committee of teachers to develop key messages on lead poisoning for the schools.
- Organised the first Lead Awareness and Prevention Week activities in Kabwe graced by Central Province Permanent Secretary and City Mayor.
- Launched Lead awareness campaigns on three Radio Stations.
- Rollout of the Call for Proposal for livelihood and Income Generation activities and engagement of a technical service provider for the component.
- ZMERIP launched a pilot study for the In-situ remediation activities aimed at raising awareness on lead poisoning to the community, inform the householders of the proposed intervention measures the project plans to undertake in affected communities, obtain an informed and written consent from the householders on voluntary in-situ remediation.
- ZMERIP launched the Feedback Grievance Redress Mechanism, a tool for management of all project grievance and trained 47 staff on usage of the tool.
ZMERIP set up social media platforms (Facebook facebook/zmerip & Twitter twitter.com/zmeripofficial) to maintain an active presence on social media channels. The main objective is to reach out to the public and interest groups on project undertakings.