Chilekwa Mumba from Zambia awarded the 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize

April 26, 2023 /Environment/ — Chilekwa Mumba is an environmental activist from Zambia who was awarded the 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize for his work to hold the mining company Vedanta Resources accountable for the environmental damage it caused in Zambia.

Mumba started his activism in 2015, when he noticed that the Kafue River, which runs through his community, was becoming polluted. He investigated and found that the pollution was coming from the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources.

Mumba organized a community group and began to campaign against KCM. He held protests, met with government officials, and filed lawsuits. In 2018, Mumba’s efforts paid off when the UK Supreme Court ruled that Vedanta Resources was liable for the environmental damage caused by KCM.

KCM is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, one of the world’s largest mining companies. In 2004, KCM took over the Nchanga and Konkola mines in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. These mines were some of the largest and oldest copper mines in the world, and they had a long history of environmental pollution.

After KCM took over the mines, the pollution worsened. The mines released large amounts of heavy metals, including lead, copper, and zinc, into the air and water. This pollution caused widespread health problems among the local population, including respiratory problems, skin diseases, and cancer.

Chilekwa Mumba was one of the first people to speak out against the pollution from KCM. He organized a group of local residents and filed a lawsuit against KCM in the UK Supreme Court. The lawsuit argued that KCM was liable for the environmental damage it caused in Zambia, even though it was a British company.

In 2022, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mumba and the other plaintiffs. The court found that KCM was indeed liable for the environmental damage it caused in Zambia. This was a landmark victory for environmental justice in Zambia and around the world.

The outcome of the lawsuit has had a number of positive effects. First, it has forced KCM to clean up the pollution it has caused. Second, it has set a legal precedent that makes it easier for people in other countries to hold multinational corporations accountable for environmental damage. Third, it has inspired other environmental activists around the world to fight for justice.

The ruling was a major victory for Mumba and the community. It set a legal precedent that could be used to hold other mining companies accountable for environmental damage. It also showed that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight to protect the environment.

In addition to the UK Supreme Court ruling, Mumba’s activism also led to a number of other positive outcomes. KCM agreed to clean up the pollution in the Kafue River. The Zambian government passed new environmental laws. And Mumba inspired other people to get involved in environmental activism.

Mumba’s story is a reminder that one person can make a difference. He is an inspiration to all who are fighting to protect the environment.

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