Ndola July 4, 2019 ZANIS--- Government has directed the Ndola City Council to stop all activity including the erection of various structures and houses in close proximity to the Kafubu river in the Copperbelt province.

ZANIS reports that Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary Bishop Edward Chomba said this when he inspected various structures and houses that have been built along the buffer zone of Kafubu river in Ndola yesterday afternoon.

And speaking earlier in a meeting held in the council chamber, Dr Bishop Chomba called for stringent action on the encroached land noting that the growing trend by a number of people developing residential and business properties near the river banks will cause the river to dry up or get polluted with untreated sewage.

During a meeting which included Ndola City Council, Ministry of Lands, Kafubu Water and Water Resources Management officers, Dr Chomba observed that water pollution is an offence which is criminalized by the law.

He added that residential structures in an environmentally sensitive area requires authorization from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency, ZEMA.

The Permanent Secretary advised that if the people that had built along the banks had legal papers, then the responsible officers who issued the documents needed to be charged even if they may have left government or had been transferred.

"If someone does not have a permit to construct they should not construct, of course not everyone will be happy but it is for the protection of the people," Dr Chomba said.

Dr Chomba has since directed the council to tell the people that have built to voluntarily vacate the area and that those who do not will have their structures demolished.

He also pointed out that gardening along the Kafubu River needed to be stopped.