In a project sponsored by the Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM) Social Community Fund, three months of river cleaning was carried out by the University of Lubumbashi for a sound and healthy environment for the population directly affected by the overflowing Kelangile River during the rainy season. This project was supervised by the National Hydraulic Agency of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Land was ploughed on both sides of the river and riverbanks were stabilized with permanent vegetation. The areas damaged by natural and anthropogenic erosion were strengthened. Guard ditches and drainage channels and canals were constructed. An irrigation-drainage system was installed to let water in during the dry season and remove excess water during the rainy season. In order to maintain the benefits of this work, a management committee was established and its 30 members trained on river maintenance.
Dredging the river and prepare the banks for crop planting is also of paramount importance to control waterborne diseases and the spread of mosquito larvae in the communities surrounding TFM operations.
At the end of the river cleanup the National Service for Urban and Periurban Horticulture, with the support of the TFM Social Community Fund, organized a horticultural training program for local growers in Fungurume in natural production techniques and environmental protection, with the goal of increasing vegetable production while reducing reliance on chemical fertilizers.
For further information about how Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. supports the communities in which they operate, please visit their website at http://www.fcx.com/envir/soc_com.htm
Please see the 2011 Working Toward Sustainable Development Report for more information on all of their social, economic and environmental efforts. http://www.fcx.com/envir/wtsd/pdf-wtsd/2011/WTSD_Bk_2011.pdf
KEYWORDS: Environment, Tenke Fungurume Mining, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, river cleanup, horticultural training, agriculture, Social Community Fund, Democratic Republic of Congo, local growers, environmental protection, increased production, riverbank stabilization