Kabwe, Zambia

Kabwe, Zambia

Site Name: Kabwe, Zambia


Pollutant: Lead


Population Affected: 300,000+


Site Description:

Kabwe, the second largest city in Zambia, is located about 150 kilometers north of the nation’s capital, Lusaka. Lead mining in the area situated around the Copperbelt has caused elevated blood lead levels in local residents, especially children. Unregulated smelting processes occurred for over 90 years at the location, and these smelters released heavy metals in dust particles that settled on the ground in the surrounding areas. The mine and smelter are no longer operating but have left a city poisoned from debilitating concentrations of lead in the soil and water from slag heaps that still remain as reminders of the smelting and mining era.

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