IMPACT OF POLLUTION OF MINING ACTIVITIES IN KITWE
Kitwe is one of the largest city in Zambia, Africa in terms of sized and population. Because of their rich natural resources especially in minerals this city has become one of the most developed and highly commercialized in Zambian territory. The Economic impact of mining in their city has brought them economic and technological welfare among its people. Minerals such gold, diamond, platinum and others are abundant to contribute in their import and export that has become the backbone of their industry in mining. The government has largely benefited to its revenue generation that results in generous fiscal years of incentives and capital enlargement in establishing a larger scale mining industry throughout the Kitwe City in Zambia. Mining has brought them mostly economic benefits and infrastructure including employment opportunities that benefited among many of its people although there are reports of abuse of mining industries among workers.
Although mining has provided tremendous benefits in Zambian community, the environmental causes have been largely affected negatively in most of industrial activities that have not been efficiently taken care of from both the government, industry and its people. As of today Kitwe in Zambia is now also considered as one of the most highly polluted city because of mining. The impact of pollution is irreversible the activities of searching and extraction from the soil, smelting up to the point of finishing the minerals has causes various degradation from their land, air and water that requires an urgent attention thoroughly before it is expected to cause major impact of lost in their naturals resources and all that is left would be the death of their people because of mining.
The impact of mining on Air Pollution – The process of mining includes burning and discharge of chemicals from the air that uses so much fossil fuels, this produced various harmful chemicals that when disburse in the air would produce nitric acid, sulfuric acid and other minerals that floats in the air and stayed there for a long period of time. This gaseous toxic when mixed with natural water or rain goes back to the earth to form an acid rain that has been very dangerous in human life and other living things that exist here on earth. This acid rain contains radioactive materials that can kill people when using or drinking it while plants and animals may die in natural death because they cannot prevent its flow. In Mufulira Kitwe the intense coverage of rain causes 12,000 hectares of land that killed vegetation land.
The Impact of Water Pollution – The processing and mining includes residue deposits from land that goes in the water sewerage system in rivers and lakes, there some who prevented leaks although this are unusual mostly the factories simply discharge their residue in land. The discharge includes cyanide when flows through in streams and rivers can kill aquatic lives and this has been the reason why most of the people have been deprived to drink sanitized healthy drinking water for they might be intoxicated. This led them to non sustainable and water shortage rather than drinking the compounds.
The Impact of Land Degradation Pollution – One of the most devastation occurred in the land and forest that is why the forestation, farming, hunting, logging and vegetation have lost and livelihood is also lost. Usually the process of mining includes dredging highlands and lowlands to explore the mines that results in soil erosion and rock deformation, dust generation that reduced heavily the agricultural activity due to this practices and literally most of their plants and trees has been washed-out and their animals have no place to live. The waste disposal also largely affected their land making it not suitable for cultivation and planting. According to the Department of Environment and Tourism last 2008 the large scale mining in most parts of the world including mining in Africa cause sinkholes and earthquakes.
The mining activities in underground and caving is highly dangerous, during the 1970’s they have lost almost 90 workers because of caving incidents and explosion because coal may spontaneously ignite in hot conditions. Almost all mining process has destroyed air, land, water, forest and lives of people in Africa particularly in Kitwe, Zambia. The continuous release of chemical pollution covers a large track of the ecosystem as a whole and these chemicals has not been largely controlled nor managed. The most impact of air pollution is to the people because they suffered in food scarcity, health, safety and conflicts in resettlements and livelihood.