A BIRD activist has warned that
risks losing 99 per cent of
bird species whose habitat is restricted to Ikelenge District if precautionary
measures are not put in place before Jimbe Minerals Limited (JML) starts
operations in the area. Zambia
Kelvin Mkandawire, a birder representing Bird Watch
expressed concern during a public consultative meeting in Salujhinga area in
Ikelenge at the weekend. Zambia
Mr Mkandawire said in as much as setting up of the mine in the area was welcome it was a potential threat to the Guineo-Congolian bird species.
"I know that the coming of the mine is good news, but not for the birds of course because mining and birds actually don't get together.
"I would like to highlight that your mining license area actually captures the entire Important Bird Area (IBA) because Jimbe is an IBA," he said.
Mr Mkandawire who is a logistics officer at Bird Watch
Zambia said Jimbe was listed as the fourth IBA
in Zambia and 31st in Africa.
Jimbe IBA is also home to more than 300 other bird species and
has a total of 42 IBAs. Zambia
"The significance of this Important Bird Area is that it's the only one in
that has the Guineo-Congolian Biome and in there are 17
Guineo-Congolian species and Jimbe (IBA) holds 16 of them," Mr Mkandawire
The 17th Guineo-Congolian specie in
Zambia is found at Lusenga
National Park in . Northern Province
Mr Mkandawire informed the gathering that the proposed mining area had the
and that people in Salujhinga got raw materials from the area to manufacture
the Salujhinga chair, among other crafts. Muhonge
In response, the seemingly shaken JML mining and exploration manager Bernard Kazenene said setting up of the mine in the area was not being forced on the community.
Mr Kazenene said the purpose of the consultative meeting was to get views from residents before an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study was conducted.