Two groups known as Global Rights and the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) have decried the poor regulation of artisanal and illegal mining activities in host communities, following the worrisome mining activities across Nigeria and other West African countries.
Executive Director at Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, on Thursday, explained that the activities of artisanal and illegal miners have led to serious health problems and environmental degradation in West Africa.
Speaking at a two-day summit on ‘ECOWAS Mining Directive and Social Safeguards for Mining Host Communities in West Africa’, Baiyewu said the regional conference aimed to provide a better understanding of the ECOWAS Mining Directives for people in the region.
She maintained that this would equip host communities with prerequisite knowledge on how to achieve accountability and sustainability.
She said: “The primary purpose of the Summit is to create a convening platform for mining host communities across West Africa to share experience, to improve their understanding of issues faced by mining host communities, to increase their capacity for engaging with companies and the government on human rights and development impacts of mining, and facilitate opportunities for joint action and problem-solving.”
In their remarks, representatives of Kogi and Niger States, Ojochogu Okigbo and Mary Abdul, respectively, called for the prioritisation of mining licenses, as well as proper environmental impact assessment in the remediation process.
Earlier, speakers from Senegal, Niger Republic and Guinea called for the contemporary issues affecting women and children in mining host communities to be speedily addressed.
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