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Konkola Copper Mines plants more fingerlings in Mushishima Stream

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) on Thursday planted 20,000 fingerlings in the Mushishima Stream, a tributary of the Kafue River, bringing to 100,000 fingerlings planted in the two water sources since 2009.

KCM Manager for Safety Health and Environment (SHE) Edward Zulu said the company had planted the fingerlings during the fish ban, which lasts from December 1 to the end of February to ensure that the fish multiplied without disturbances.

"KCM remains committed to conserve natural resources as reflected in our environmental policy and over the years, we have demonstrated environmental stewardship through various initiatives such as fish restocking," Mr Zulu said.

Mr Zulu said the fish restocking has during the past few years become an important exercise by KCM to focus global attention on the environment and to encourage political attention and action. The restocking programme was also intended to draw attention to the importance of aquatic species, which provide the necessary proteins to people.

He said fishing during the closed period, when fish is expected to multiply and the use of wrong fishing methods such as spreading mosquito nets in water was detrimental to the growth and multiplication of fish species, urging authorities to plug the practice.

Aquaculture Research Officer at the National Aquaculture Research and Development Centre (NARDC) at Mwekera Centre, Ian Bbole, said the fingerlings planted on Thursday would help replenish stocks and add nutritional value to people depending on the Mushishima stream and the Kafue River for survival.

Mr Bbole appealed to other corporate companies to emulate KCM's gesture and to support fish farming activities in areas around the upper Kafue River and Mushishima Stream.

"Programmes to educate the local fishermen and women on good fishing practices can also help to make this fishing area (around Mushishima) sustainable," Mr Bbole said.

He appealed to residents in areas where fish was restocked to respect the fish ban and partner with the government to preserve fish in the rivers.

KCM planted more fingerlings in the Kafue River at Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Orphanage on the outskirts of Chingola in October.