Zambian Alliance for Tobacco Control says Zambia must make the tobacco industry pay for its environmental damages.
Alliance president Brenda Chitindi said as the world commemorates “world no tobacco day” under the theme “Tobacco: threat to our environment”, government must support alternative livelihoods to tobacco farming, especially in tobacco growing Provinces where farmers continue to dwell in poverty.
Ms. Chitindi said tobacco cultivation demands an intense quantity of fertilizers and pesticides compared to many other crops, which when the chemicals are washed out of the tobacco fields end up contaminating waterways, including groundwater, rivers, and seas.
“Government must not fall for the corporate social responsibility initiatives undertaken by the tobacco industry as part of efforts to green wash its image. The tobacco industry cannot be treated like any other type of industry because not only deprive human rights including the right to good health and a clean environment, it has significant control over its product design and supply chains that unfortunately, create an enormous burden to the environment,” she said.