Zambia Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project (ZMERIP)
The Government of Zambia with support from the World Bank is running a project called Zambia Mining and Environmental and Remediation Project (ZMERIP). The ZMERIP aims to strengthen the capacity of national and state level institutions, improved enforcement for pollution prevention and address the environmental health impacts associated with poor mining practices.
The project is funded by the World Bank and is housed under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development at the Government Complex. This project was officially launched on 13th January 2015 with duration of five (5) years. The project has an approved total budget of USD 50 million.
The overall objective of the project is to reduce environmental health risks to the local population associated with the mining sector in critically polluted areas in Kabwe and Copperbelt provinces through improved capacity of the key institutions.
These objectives will be achieved by:
• Remediation and rehabilitation of contaminated sites
• Strengthen regulatorily, monitoring and institutional capacity of Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Mines Safety Department (MSD), Radiation Protection Agency (RPA) and Municipal Councils
• Improving job opportunities for local communities, particularly women and vulnerable groups in mining polluted areas
The project will be implemented through four (4) Components as below:
Component 1: Strengthening environmental governance in the mining sector and Remediation of contaminated sites at an estimated cost of USD 25 million and to commence in the first two years of the project. Activities under this component will comprise of:
• Improving capacity of MSD and RPA by strengthening implementation of new mining law and operationalizing environmental protection fund
• Remediation of lead-polluted sites in Kabwe and surrounding
• Rehabilitation of tailing dams in Copperbelt (Kitwe, Mufulira, Chingola and Luanshya etc)
• Assessment of environmental health risks in Central and Copperbelt provinces.
• Collaborate with the private mining companies in legacy clean-up operations
Component 2: Strengthening Institutional Capacity for environmental compliance and enforcement (of ZEMA, MSD, RPA and Municipal Councils) at the cost of USD 10million
• Support Testing and monitoring of environmental quality (air, water, soil quality)
• Use of modern information tools and GIS-based techniques for effective inspection and compliance management.
• identifying opportunities to reduce environmental health risks through improved environmental services (solid waste management; access to clean drinking water; etc)
• Support health screening (for lead) in Kabwe (in partnership with MOH)
• Support medical interventions (Integrated Case Management) for children and women exposed to lead contamination; (in partnership with MOH)
• Support outreach and capacity of citizen monitoring, Public Information, Education and Communication
• Capacity to review ESIAs negotiates with investors, issue pollution permits, monitor compliance, and collect fines.
• Strengthen relevant training institutions (Copperbelt University, and Mulungushi University) and community-level NGOs to increase national capacity to address environmental (and social) issues associated with the mining sector.
Component 3: Improving local environment and area development in mining polluted areas at an estimated cost of USD 12million
• Improve environmental infrastructure in Kabwe ( Waste Management and disposal facility; dredging and lining of Kabwe canal, tree plantation; removal/containment of contaminated soil in proximity to residential areas)
• A grassroots initiative program introduces income generation opportunities by providing financial and advisory support to identify locally relevant livelihood activities supported through small grants to organize communities around productive activities (e.g nurseries, plantation activities such as bamboo, Moringa etc; bee-keeping, agro-processing etc). This program will also be extended to Kitwe, Chingola and Mufulira
• Health intervention for prevention and treatment of human population, particularly children at risk of lead exposure in Kabwe in collaboration with Ministry of Health
• Education and informational intervention by working with educational institutions and local media to spread awareness about environmental pollution particularly those resulting from lead exposure
Component 4: Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation at an estimated cost of USD 3 million:
• The project will be implemented through the Project Coordination Unit (PCU) to be established in Ministry of Mines, responsible for Coordination with Environment, Local Governance, Health and Finance.
• A Project Steering Committee (PSC) chaired by the PS Mines, represented by PS-Environment; Finance, Health and LG, DG-ZEMA and ZCCM-IH.
• The PCU, headed by a Project Director (Member Secretary) will work under PSC and will be responsible for coordinating, reviewing; appraising and approving proposals for financing subprojects
Current Status of Project Preparation
• The Project Concept note prepared in June 2015
• The project is currently at preparatory phase with only USD 1.2million disbursed for the procurement of Consultancy services for conducting Kabwe Baseline and Scoping Study; Environmental and Social due diligence, including assessment of income generation and job opportunities; techno-economic feasibility study, engineering study for construction of a Canal in Kabwe and hiring of the Project Management Consultant
• The rest of the funds will be released at the implementation phase after the project has been appraised and approved by the World Bank Board in May and July 2016 respectively.