Tunatazama - Community Monitors

North West / Mining Development in Solwezi brings destruction to community infrastructure

Solwezi is in the north west of Zambia sharing borders with the DRC and Angola. This area of the country is a high rainfall area and one of the most water rich regions of African with three major rivers.The local communities where not rich as we understand this in the big cities, but they lived well of the land and the rivers and lakes. They had an infrastructure of roads which were not tarmac, but served their purposes to cross the north west region especially linked with DRC villages.Mining came in with the big trucks, this was followed by mine busses and other vehicles. Government prioritised the needs of the mines and the new wealthy community. Old roads and bridges where severely damaged.Monitors in Solwezi have been documenting this destruction which is called development because it brings wealth for the corporations and a tiny elite.

  • The road that passes Kansanshi Mine

By Kabwe andBbridget 5/04/2018

This is the road that passes through kansanshi mine which is in a very bad state. This road it is also leading to D.R.C. Before the coming of this mine the road was in a very good state. The community is really affected because that’s road been used by so many people, we feel this road will course the loss of so many lives, there are many accidents on this road.

We feel the mine and the government should do something on on this road.


  • First Quantum raids the Solewezi – Mushindamo road in a bad state

Deborah Chewe 05.04.17

Solwezi Mushindamo which leads to the Kipushi boarder in the North Western Part of Zambia has been in a bad state since First quantum minerals raided the road.

This is the road which has been helping communities in Solwezi to link their businesses to the neighbouring country DR Congo.

As a result of mining activities in the area most business people are failing to access the road. Heavy mine trucks pass through the road damaging it and making it impassable for other road users.

This situation never  happened in the past before mining.


  • Solwezi Bridge run down by heavy trucks


The Solwezi bridge in Solwezi district in the North Western Part of Zambia has been in a bad state for a long time.

This bridge is the only way to link to other parts of the province which include Kalumbila and Lumwana districts  where mining takes place.

Due to heavy trucks that carry heavy machinery the road has been damaged and what is only done is patching of huge potholes every  three or four months.

With the construction of the first ever dual carriage way in the district it has been said that the bridge will also be worked on but members of the public are still complaining about the huge potholes which damage their vehicles and can also cause accidents.

Development in the district and the province at large is still moving at a slow pace despite hosting the three biggest mines.


  • A 10 minute drive takes and hour in

Shikamo Eliack/YAD/Solwezi District/North western/Zambia

The people of Musele sanctioned mining with high hope of Development. This both household and community development.  Alas since the coming in of Kalumbila mine. The highly anticipated opportunity turns out to be a curse. The mining has been able to finance the improvement of the road from Lumwana to the mine of Kalumbila. Unfortunately, the stretch that connects to chief Musele and Mwinilunga is in deplorable state such that the a distance one can take 10 minute  drive can take someone 1 hour.

This raises the question from local people whether the mine opportunity has been a blessing or a curse. The life of copper is more valuable than the people who live in the nearby villages of Musele.

As seen in the above photos the roads to Kalumbila mine is suitable for tyres. While gravel which is bad for tyres cover the stretch from Kalumbila turn off to chief Musele and Mwinilunga. This stretch is has been damaged by the big buses and trucks that pick and drop the work force for the mine.

We hope one day the mine can come to terms with reality that the community deserves better than the bone they give them.


  • The potholes are unbearable at Kalumbila Junction

20/04/18   Kalumbila junction-kisasa road: Sylvia/MNTF/kisasa community/ kalumbila district/ Zambia.

Kalumbila junction- Kisasa stretch is in a deplorable state due to mine buses which uses the road day and night transporting mine workers to and from work. This leads to long delays and makes the route longer. The potholes are unbearable, motorists are failing to obey traffic rules.

Kalumbila mine has promised to rehabilitate this road in few Weeks time.

As community member we hope that the promise made will be fulfilled.


  • Environment damaging Truck Accident at Mitec Junction

by Kachuñu Noah/KwetuVoice/Solwezi/Northwestern Province. 27/04/18

Today around 09:30,a Tanker Truck moving from Kansanshi Mine has fallen down spilling acid and oil. The story is that the truck started  losing control after passing the general hospital, it lacked breaks and the driver started warning. People did not pay quick attention. They only realised the truck lost control at the traffic lights, the tank went to hit a small bus then the truck fell. So far no life has been lost but the driver was quickly taken to hospital.

The truck spilled its contents of acid and oil spilling on the ground.

It is sad to note that the ZEMA which is Zambia Environmental Management Agency was not at the accident scene and the acid was just being buried by the team from the council by digging where acid and oil should go and cover it with gravel and soil.

Question: How can an accident that spills dangerous acid to the environment be controlled?


  • The Kyafukuma bridge washed away cutting community from Solwezi

Steven Nyambe 1/05/2018

This is the bridge which connect people of Kyafukuma area and Solwezi town. Since December when it was washed away by the rains people have complained to the government and nothing has been done to ease the movement of people in the area.