Residents’ perceptions of the environmental and social impacts of KCM’s mining activities inNchangaNorth Township, Chingola, Zambia

Caroline Lusonde, Kabwe Harnadih Mubanga

Abstract


The study explores and assesses mining and its environmental and social impacts on communities within which mining activities take place. The focus is on a mining community in Chingola, Zambia called Nchanga North Township where mining is carried out by a mining group called Vedanta Resources Plc, KCM. The study investigates the real and latent environmental and social impacts and the residents’ perception of impacts of mining activities on their communities in the light of the numerous promises and prospects that mining is said to provide for communities.

Nchanga North Township in Chingola was purposively selected as the study area because of its close proximity to KCM’s Nchanga Mine. Several data collection methods were used, including; observations, literature review, 60 semi-structured interviews, water and soil sample analysis for pH. In assessing the perceptions of residents towards the environmental and social impacts of mining activities, systematic random sampling was used to interview a total of 60 households. This was out of a total number of 540 households in Nchanga North Township.

It was found that mining operations at Nchanga mine were releasing dust to air mainly during blasting. There was also noise produced mainly by mine equipment and blasting operations. It was also discovered that suspended solids resulting from carry overs of sediments with runoff from pit slopes resulted into water contamination. There was no significant difference between the pH values measured at the eight sample points in Nchanga North Township (mean = 6.20; range= 5.07-8.14) and the expected normal soil pH (mean = 6.25; t = -0.121; p = 0.907) at probability level p = 0.05. This implies that there was no pH raising or decreasing contaminants in the soil. There was no significant difference between the water pH values obtained in the field with the normal water pH (t = 6.636; p = 0.095) at probability level p = 0.05. This implies that there was no pH raising or decreasing contaminants in the Kafue River at the point of sample collection. Nchanga North Township residents believe that mining operations at Nchanga mine are affecting their environment and social life negatively. The lack of an environmental management plan by the mine to combat the adverse effects on the residents meant the residents close to the mine, were highly affected negatively.


Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v8i4.15591

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Caroline Lusonde, Kabwe Harnadih Mubanga

Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.