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Enugu mining communities raise alarm on illegal activities, health hazards



Mining communities in Enugu State have raised the alarm over the activities of illegal miners which has led to a violation of environmental safety as well as the total disregard for their health by coal miners operating in their areas.

The communities which expressed their concerns in a letter addressed to the state government on Tuesday, also lamented that their sources of drinking water and livelihoods have been contaminated by mining activities, while also constituting serious health hazards to the people.

They appealed to the government to intervene by ensuring that the mining consent obtained by companies engaged in mining in their communities conform to global best practices to save them from pollution and other health hazards.

The open letter jointly signed by the traditional rulers and presidents-general of the affected communities and made available to journalists at a briefing in Enugu, stressed that the decision to withdraw all consent was a result of the failure of some of the companies living below expectations and destroying their vegetation and farmlands through environmental degradation.

They also accused the mining companies of brazen disregard for the environmental safety of our people whose sources of water and farming have been polluted from the source.

“Following a series of deliberations, we have unanimously agreed that we need to review the mining consent obtained by mining companies from our communities that have not lived up to expectations,” they said.

“Some of them were fraught with illegality. This is in addition with brazen disregard for the environmental safety of our people whose sources of water and farming have been polluted from the source.

“As a result of this, we would like to take this occasion to extend an invitation to all individuals/organizations interested in the mining sector to communicate with the State Government through the Secretary to the State Government as soon as possible in order to verify that they have received all necessary community consent to operate, follow the ethical, environmental and professional measures that guarantee the safety of their host communities, subject to the federal government cadastre certificates,” they added.

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