By STEVEN ZANDE –
INFORMATION and Broadcasting Services Minister Kampamba Mulenga has urged the media to help sensitise the public on the benefits of nuclear energy to dispel myths associated with the energy source.
Ms Mulenga said as Zambia was planning to build a nuclear energy plant, it is crucial that the people were adequately informed of the benefits this would accrue to dispel rumours that associated nuclear
energy like disasters and deformities in children.
“This is a myth that we need to dispel. There is need for more outreach programmes in communities so that people have correct information about nuclear energy,” she said.
She said this recently during a National Nuclear Awareness Coordinating Committee meeting in Lusaka.
Ms Mulenga expressed concern that most of the available pieces information on nuclear in Zambia had a negative connotation and this had developed in Zambians an aversion to nuclear energy.
She said more journalists should be trained in nuclear energy reporting to help them report factually and write comprehensive articles about the benefits of the energy source.
Ms Mulenga said nuclear energy should be championed due to the benefits that it promises when developed like helping improve farming yields in agricultural productivity.
Committee national coordinator Reuben Katebe said a nuclear energy plant when established had potential to create more than 10, 000 jobs and this would also result in Zambia being an energy powerhouse.
Mr Katebe who is also a scientific officer at the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) said this would make Zambia a net export of energy and facilitate sustainable industrialisation due to continuous availability of power.
He said the Government’s plans to also build a nuclear medicine centre would build a stable power source and help boost agriculture and its value chain through research and use of radiation in improving the farm yields among other things.
Sunday Times Editor Austin Kaluba who is committee member said successful establishment of nuclear energy in Zambia depended on how much work the media would in highlighting the benefits of the concept so that people could accept it.