The USAID funded Fostering Accountability and Transparency (FACT) programme in Zambia has urged Mining Industries countrywide to invest in the communities they operate from.
Speaking when he featured on UNZA Radio’s Lusaka Star Programme, FACT Governance Officer Wilson Syakayuwa said that mining operations have a harmful impact on the livelihoods of local people and the environment hence, this industry needs community support to extract valuable commodities.
Mr Syakayuwa said that factors such as population in towns near mining activities have grown as people from other towns migrate in search of jobs and business opportunities causing a strain on health and education services.
He further added that mining companies are expected to contribute to improving the lives of local people due to the above-mentioned factors.
Meanwhile, Extractive Industry Transparency Alliance (EITA) Executive Director Mwiya Mwandawande said that mining companies like other large corporations are expected to adopt what is globally known as 3P, “standing for People, Planet and Profit” which encourages social responsibility and sustainability.
Mr Mwandawande also said that mining companies should not only be interested in profit but have an equal responsibility to promote the wellbeing of communities as well.
He added by stating that it is important for Mining companies to have strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plans as part of their overall business strategy.
Mr Mwandawande further said Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) and EITA activities, target decision-makers at national level to expedite the process of granting local authorities the ability to tax organisations.
And in addition to the above statement, CSPR Resource Governance Coordinator Chimuka Nachibinga said granting rating authority to local authorities will empower local communities towards improved living standards and will make it easier for community members to hold the decision makers accountable in the developmental process.
We look forward to local authorities being given rating authority so that they can start collecting property revenue from mines and invest in the improvement of social infrastructure for host communities.said Mr. Nachibinga.