Three sites in the discharge basin of the Chinese plant CNMC (China Nonferrous Metal Mining), located in the Panda district in Likasi, in the Haut-Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, were closed on Saturday, September 18, 2021 following numerous cases of poisoning recorded.The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ève Bazaiba, who made this decision, indicated that she had made a bitter observation on the ground.
“There is a strong wind which carried away all the toxic dust containing a lot of acid materials and toxicity. People inhaled, some swallowed. There were problems with the flow of blood in the nose, there are cases of hematoma, there are cases of diarrhoea, there are cough problems, there are some who have eye problems… “she was indignant in front of the press after meeting the local populations.
Mrs Eve Bazaiba revealed that so far more than 600 people have been directly affected by this pollution caused by the Chinese copper factory which dumps waste into a discharge basin located just 300 meters from homes.The Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Environment and Sustainable Development on behalf of the government ordered the immediate closure of this discharge basin pending investigations which will identify all the victims and determine the level of pollution for the purposes of possible compensation for affected populations.
It should be remembered that the China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group is a Chinese state mining company based in the Democratic Republic of Congo for several years and it operates in the Deziwa copper mine and the Lualaba Copper Smelter. The company has already been accused of similar facts in the past when industrial pollution had changed the color of the Yangtze River in China.