By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Sustainable Natural Resources Empowerment Initiative Limited (SuNREI) a non-governmental organization has launched its sustainability, responsible business and environment project in Chililabombwe District on the Copperbelt.
The launch which was held at Dopchim 1 lodge was attended by a number of community members, leaders from various organizations and the local Government leaders in the district.
Speaking at the event, SuNREI organization trustee Humphrey Mulemba said the project launched is anchored on community engagement for sustainability, responsible business and environment.
Mr Mulemba Said the organization was born out of concerns that there is too much dependence on government for everything.
He said the private sector is the key partner that plays a role of corporate social responsibility to ensure that the people benefits in a win-win situation.
And Chililabombwe Mayor Lucky Sichone said in order to transform the district into a sustainable economic power house, the independence energy that served as a fuel for industrialization, political triumph and the unification of Zambia needs to be tapped into once again.
Mr Sichone said youths have the potential and innovative ideas that help in transforming Chililabombwe into a town that truly benefits all.
“The key factor in this process is the energy in youths hence the need to create opportunities, guidance and direction to convert this potential into reality, it is high time the people stopped depending on government but the natural resources in their respective districts and communities if we are to create community engagement for sustainability,” he said.
And Mr Sichone also bemoaned the lack of community engagement by the business community.
He said it is important to engage the community and get their expectations from the business community and what they need to do for the community.
Mr Sichone said the private business community has a mandate to plough back to the community which has not been in effect due to the reactance of the previous government.
He said the UPND government will take keen interest in social cooperate responsibility for the local people to benefit and be engaged.
“If the miners are not benefitting from the mines in our town it is difficult for the community to benefit, he said”
The Mayor has since commended SunREI for the move to engage the people and advocate for a win-win situation between the community and the investors.
Speaking at the same event DEGA said the people can directly and indirectly benefit from the mines.