Copper with a Cost – film on copper mining in Zambia

ARTICLE | 7 May 2019

“Since the mining company buried our gardens with mine waste, we are failing to get food on the table. We only eat once a day. We are failing to send our children to school”, says Francesca Makwenbo.

Franceska used to grow vegetables in the outskirts of the mining town Chingola in Zambia. Now the land is partly covered by huge piles of mine waste and the remaining land is infertile.

Swedwatch’s film Copper with a Cost illustrates how community member’s access to clean water and farmland is negatively affected in and around Chingola, where one of Zambia’s largest copper mines is located. When people lose the opportunity to grow crops it impacts their livelihoods, access to food and the opportunity to send their children to school. The film also presents examples of problems that may arise when communities are resettled due to the establishment of new mines.

The film and the report with the same title emphasize the importance of ICT companies to address and mitigate human rights risks present in their mineral supply chains.

The report Copper with a cost was conducted within the EU-wide campaign Make ICT Fair aiming to improve the lives of workers and communities affected by the production of ICT devices such as smartphones and laptops. Through awareness raising, research and advocacy, the campaign highlights human rights and environmental impacts along the ICT supply chains and informs on solutions. Make ICT Fair is mainly funded by the EU and partly co-financed by Sida.