Green Party President Peter Sinkamba says that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations in the current form are a threat to food security in Zambia. He has since demanded that the Minister of Lands and Environmental Protection Jean Kapata ...
eia, zambia, peasant, farmers
Green Party President Peter Sinkamba says that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations in the current form are a threat to food security in Zambia. He has since demanded that the Minister of Lands and Environmental Protection Jean Kapata should consider reviewing the regulations to bring them up to speed with realities on the ground.
“The EIA regulations in the current form provide that any development, including agriculture, which extends up to one hectare and above must be subjected to the rigorous approval process by ZEMA. Without the approval of such project by ZEMA, a developer commits an offence, which attracts serious penalties.
“Now, at the moment, we have over five million peasant and small scale farmers across the country, that collectively produce over 70 per cent of the maize in Zambia. These have farm plots that extend from one hectare to about ten hectares. Since time immemorial, they have been carrying out their agricultural activities without EIA approval.
"In short, since the EIA regulations were enacted in 1997, peasant and small-scale farmers have been carrying out their farming activities illegally. According to EIA regulations, SI 27 of 1997, these farmers must stop their agricultural activities or they risk being penalized by ZEMA. And if they stop their agricultural activities, then it means that more than 70 per cent of the maize will not be produced in Zambia. This scenario will result in serious food insecurity in the country,” Mr. Sinkamba said.
He added that according to the regulations, in addition to hiring environmental experts to prepare the EIA reports, the peasants and small-scale farmers are, like all other industries, expected to pay ZEMA about K14, 000.00 fees for review of the reports.
He said it is useless to keep on the statutes laws that cannot be implemented. He has suggested a complete overhaul of the regulations to bring them to speed with realities on the ground, especially as relates to the agricultural sector.