State tackles Kabwe lead poisoning

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KETRA KALUNGA writes
@SunZambian
GOVERNMENT has taken a multi sectoral approach to reducing the high levels of lead poisoning in Kabwe district.
About 1 000 children below the age of 14 years were being treated for lead poisoning in Kabwe.

Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary, Bernaby Mulenga, said the Multi sectoral approach involved officials from his ministry, Central province administration and the Kabwe Municipal Council.
Mr Mulenga said in an interview that the council was working with the provincial administration to look into the issues of encroachment in the lead hot-spot areas on the district.
He added that the ministry under the Zambia Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improved Project (ZMERIP) has included a small component to give alternative livelihood to the youths that access the dump site of the closed Kabwe Zink and Lead mine.
“There has been a multi sectoral approach which has been used to the problem of lead poisoning in Kabwe, we recognise that it’s not just the ministry of mines but we need to work with the council, the provincial administration and other stakeholders on the ground,” he said.
Mr Mulenga said community sensitization programmes were being undertaken along with the lead poisoning testing and treatment.
The ZMERIP in collaboration with the Ministry of General Education has launched the Lead Education and Awareness Training Guide (LEATG) for Kabwe schools.
The guide targeting children from Pre-school up to Grade nine, was developed within the framework of the Curriculum Development Centre and seeks to help teachers raise awareness on lead poisoning in a classroom environment.

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