LUSAKA, Feb 22 - The World Bank and the Nordic Development Fund have pledged to provide Zambia 40 million US dollars and 10 million euros respectively for the handling of environmental liabilities resulting from mining activities, local newspaper Sunday Mail reported.
Of the 40 million US dollars to be provided by the World Bank, 19 million dollars is a credit and 21 million dollars is a grant and the other 10 million euros is also a credit.
The environmental liabilities include sulfur dioxide emissions from Nkana and Mufulira smelters of Copperbelt province, the water pollution of the Kafue River and its tributaries, tailings dams and human risk due to contaminated soil, air and water on the Copperbelt and in Kabwe of Central province.
World Bank Country Manager Ohene Owusu Nyanin was quoted as saying Saturday in Ndola, capital of Copperbelt province, the 70 years of mining history on the Copperbelt has created a situation that needs to be addressed for the sake of public health and for the creation of an environment for the future investment.
Nyanin said managing and mitigating environmental problems in the mining sector would yield economic benefits from improved health and ecosystem functions on the Copperbelt and in Kabwe.
He said Zambia's quest for sustained poverty reduction depended largely on achieving macroeconomic stability and creating an economic environment conducive for growth, diversification and export-orientation.