KANSANSHI MINE REVIVES 129 BICYCLES AROUND SOLWEZI
SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – Kansanshi Mining Plc’s corporate social responsibility department has been visiting villages around Solwezi since the beginning of the year to repair bicycles for the residents.
The mine provides the spare parts, while bicycle mechanics who have been trained through Kansanshi Cycling Team teach the bicycle owners to do the repairs. At the time of writing, 129 bicycles had been refurbished at a cost equivalent to that of just 17 new bicycles.
“It is not about saving money,” says project leader, Sydney Juma. “It is about using creativity to make the biggest difference to the largest number of people.” In addition to the bicycles repaired, the mine recently donated 25 bicycles to a selection of schools in Solwezi.
Throughout Zambia’s history, it has been common for organisations to donate bicycles to those in need, especially in rural areas where a bicycle can have a huge impact on a family’s livelihood. Such donations are hugely impactful, yet in the experience of cyclists on Kansanshi Cycling Team, these effects can also be surprisingly short-lived.
Most bicycles—even those that claim to have been developed for African conditions—tend to require their first service within less than three months. If a family in a rural village lacks the spare parts or expertise to service a bicycle, the bike will often end up parked and out of service.
In visits to villages around Solwezi, Kansanshi Mine’s Corporate Social Responsibility personnel found that many villages had an abundance of unusable bicycles, each missing just one or two crucial parts. Many of these villages are more than twenty kilometres from the nearest road.
Emmanuel Kasonde, a community organiser in Kamatete village explains: “By bicycle, a villager can easily transport his vegetable harvest twenty kilometres to town and return on the same day. If a village does not have a bicycle, though, it becomes nearly impossible to access the market. They will eat their crop and share it around, but they will not sell it. This means they won’t earn the money to buy clothes or send their children to school. The bicycle is more than just a means of transportation; it is a means of access to the economy.”
Every week the Bicycle Revival Project team visits another village, and their goal is to refurbish five hundred bicycles around Solwezi by the end of the year. Those five hundred bicycles might change the lives of five hundred families.
In October 2021, Kansanshi Mine gifted five schools in Solwezi with twenty-five bicycles in its continued effort to promote cycling in the district. The recipients of the brand-new mountain bicycles were Makole, Mushitala, Solwezi Urban, St. Charles, and St. Mary’s Schools in the district.
About First Quantum Minerals Ltd
First Quantum Minerals Ltd is a global metals and mining company producing mainly copper, gold and zinc. The company’s assets are in Zambia, Spain, Mauritania, Australia, Finland, Turkey, Panama, Argentina and Peru.
In 2021, First Quantum globally produced 816,435 tonnes of copper, 312,492 ounces of gold and 16,818 tonnes of nickel.
In Zambia it operates the Kansanshi mine and smelter in Solwezi and the Sentinel mine in Kalumbila.
The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.