- Case summary
The application for injunction was to prevent the Respondents from developing a building project in Lusaka East Forest Reserve which is ecologically and environmentally sensitive and is also a critical and sensitive underground recharge area known as the Chalimbana Catchment area. It was stated that the catchment area provides 50% to 60% of Lusaka’s entire water supply. It was further put forth that the developments of the Respondents are destroying the recharge area and disrupting the process of replenishing Lusaka’s underground aquifer. It was argued that, if not stopped, the development will have irreversible consequences such as drying boreholes and wells.
It was further put forth that the Respondents did not obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment. It was further submitted that damages cannot suffice in this matter as the damage to the recharge area will be irreversible.
The court held that there exists a danger of serious harm to the environment, which may also cause potentially irreversible harm to an entire city. It held that, accordingly, the irreparable injury needs to be proved. It held that the fact that damage to the environment presents potential and ongoing harm to both present and future generations, the balance of convenience tilts in favour of the Applicants. The court granted the injunction restraining the Respondents from continuing works on the area covered by a Decision Letter issued by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency.
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