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By JOHN SAKALA
Lubambe Copper Mine has received an award from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Network of Zambia for outstanding achievement in building capacity of women in Konkola Township.
The award was presented to the Mine on Friday December 4, at Lusaka’s Golden Peacock Hotel.
Lubambe’s CSR and Communications teams received the award on behalf of the Mine. The Mine also received special mention and recognition for sponsoring the event under the Platinum category.
CSR Network Chief Executive Director Lee Muzala said the work and passion of corporates needed to be celebrated.
According to Mr Muzala, the network was formed to foster information sharing among corporates and act as an extended arm of government to meet needy areas of development.
Speaking at the same event, Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) Chief Portfolio Officer Henry Sakala appreciated the CSR Network for the initiative to recognise excellence in CSR through national awards and for aspiring to put the event as one of the biggest on the annual national calendar.
Mr Sakala commended participating corporates for their contribution to society over and above creation of jobs and wealth.
He expressed happiness that most companies had put up various developmental programs in their areas of operation.
Mr Sakala said it was gratifying to see that in spite of an extremely challenging business environment and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies did not relent to advance their CSR activities.
“CSR network reflected the importance of CSR work and that the awards gala was a good platform to initiate dialogue, encourage sharing of best practices and ignite collaboration among members.
“If we empower communities and uplift people’s livelihoods, that will have ripple effects to our businesses and our people. This will in turn contribute to economic growth. CSR initiatives should be aligned to the national priorities such as public health, education, livelihoods, sanitation, water conservation and natural resource management and should also be in tune with global priorities such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.
Lubambe Copper Mine Community and Stakeholder Relations Manager, Lomthunzi Mbewe said, the Mine began a deliberate program to uplift the living standards of women in the surrounding Communities.
Ms Mbewe said that Lubambe has forged strategic partnerships with several institutions to provide training in life skills, resulting in the training of more than six (6) Cooperatives and particularly targeting women in financial literacy, modern farming methods, fish fingerling production and tailoring and design.
“One of the beneficiaries of the training is a women-led Cooperative known as Tilitonse Women’s Club that has begun several businesses with start-up capital provided by the Mine. The cooperative makes re-usable sanitary wear after extensive training in Menstrual health management, these are sold in communities and surrounding areas. To support this, the Mine bought tailoring equipment that was loaned to the Club.”
“Additionally, LCM created a supply-link between the Women’s agriculture project and the Mine canteen contractor to supply various vegetables, tomatoes and onions for the provision of hot meals to Miners. The horticulture project is very cardinal in addressing food insecurity in the very vulnerable community, thereby, addressing SDG two (2) which aims at ending hunger.”
Ms Mbewe said that the Mine is happy with the progress and dedication the women’s group has exhibited, adding that they have been a steady partner in various community projects.
Lubambe has also been contracting the Women’s group to make reusable face masks for staff members and school children and in addition, the club has been contracted to make uniforms for orphaned and vulnerable children in the Community.
The CSR Manager further said future projects will definitely seek to involve women in mainstream planning and implementation, because the impact of women involvement in development projects is felt at household level.
In 2019 at the inaugural Zambia National Responsible Business and CSR Awards organized by the CSR Network of Zambia, Lubambe received the first CSR award for implementing CSR initiatives that have impacted positively on communities living around the mine.