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Zambia launches World Bank-funded project to tackle mining pollution

The Zambian government has launched a World Bank-funded project aimed at tackling some environmental damages caused by mining operations in mining areas across the southern African nation, state broadcaster reported on Thursday.

The 65-million U.S. dollar Zambia Mining Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project will also focus on reducing environmental health risks through localized interventions, according to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

Mines Minister Felix Mutati, in remarks delivered during the launch of the project in the central town of Kabwe, which has been affected by years of lead mining, said stakeholders should support the project which was meant to protect the lives of people affected by mining activities.

The project, he said, will address the historical environment and related social issues arising from mining as well as strengthen the capacity of regulatory agencies to ensure environmental protection and mitigations.

The main objective of the project is to reduce the environmental health risks to the local population in critically polluted mining areas, he added.

World Bank Group Country Manager Ina Ruthenberg said the project will be of great importance to Zambia as the country focuses on diversifying its economy.

The project comes after the Copperbelt Environmental Project which was implemented from 2003 to 2011.

Mining operations in Zambia have left a trail of environmental degradation in communities.

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