Chief Mumena of the Kaonde speaking people in Solwezi has said people in North Western province should be compensated for forestry lost to mining activity.
The traditional leader said that while mining investors compensated his subjects for being displaced, they should also pay for the trees they cut down during the process of site clearing because the damage on the environment is permanent.
Chief Mumena was speaking at Kambazhi school when he addressed the communities during a tree planting programme organized by Food and Trees Zambia.
He noted that the livelihood of people have been affected as they have started walking long distances searching for firewood and other forest products for their survival.
In responding to the concern, Land, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Deputy Minister Dan Chinyimbu said government is in the process of revising the environmental policy that would take care of such concerns.
Mr Chinyimbu said trees if well managed have the potential to reduce poverty and enhance sustainable economic development hence the PF government’s commitment to the national tree planting programme initiative.
The theme for this year’s national tree planting is ‘Trees for poverty alleviation and economic development”
North Western province has the largest mining investment in the country at Kansanshi and Barrick Lumwana