The Zambian government issued a small-scale mining license to youths in Chingola town on the Copperbelt Province earlier on this week. This, according to Chali Chilombo, a lawmaker for Nchanga constituency in the town, is for purposes of curbing rising illegal mining activities.
Mr. Chilombo who was presenting the licenses to the youth said that the mover by the government will go a long way towards empowering the young people in the district.
Furthermore, the decision will help reduce cases of illegal mining in the district, which has led to the deaths of many illegal miners. Mr. Chilombo added that all young people working on slag dumps will be trained in safety measures to avoid accidents.
To ensure safety in the working environment for the miners, Mr. Chilombo urged the youth not to fight over this site, and instead work in harmony to ensure all working safety precautions are put in place before operations start.
Kabaso Mulenga, chairperson of the small-scale miners in the district, commended the government for the commitment to empowering young people. Speaking to the youth, he urged them to ensure that the operations and distribution of resources are done in a transparent and equitable manner. This, he emphasized, is to avoid cases of selfishness.
Zambia has been grappling with illegal mining activities especially on the Copperbelt province, as youths mine copper on slag dumps and disused pits.