Researchers seek efficient environmental impact management at mining sites

The Environmental Process and Forensic Research Group (ENPROFORG), Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, has called for efficient management of environmental impact of mining sites in the country.

The group made this known in a communiqué signed by the Principal Investigator, Dr. Peter Okoli, who said the work was based on samples collected from many mining sites across the country and decried the non-compliance to environmental impact assessment.

The theme of the one-day symposium and stakeholders meeting was “Role of Environmental Forensics in the Efficient Management of Environmental Impacts of Mining in Nigeria”, held at the mini auditorium, NEEDS Assessment Building of the University.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sunday Elom, represented by the Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Abel Ezeoha, appreciate the Department of Chemistry for making the University proud through ENPROFORG.

He said the decision of the vice-chancellor to use the human resource at the disposal of the institution to ensure the progress of society to mitigate the inadequacies in the mining sector with the hope that things would get better in the country, especially in the university system.

The Environmental Conundrum”, Prof. Amobi Ekwe, said economic development is significantly influenced by mining with numerous economic, environmental and social issues that have also been linked to it, raising concerns about the sustainability of the mining’s economic benefits.

Prof Ekwe added that the industry must lessen its negative effects on the environment, society, culture, health, and human development, as well as on governance and macroeconomic management.

Okoli, described the challenges of environmental forensics in Nigeria as a serious setback to proper utilization of the mineral resources in the country.

He cited cases of environmental pollution in the various mining sites in Ikwo and Enyigba in Ebonyi State, coal mining sites in Enugu state and gold mining sites in Zamfara state.

He noted that mining companies are only interested in mining mineral resources without considering the health hazards and risks associated with the mining activities as there are no mitigation policies aimed at reclaiming the mining sites.

He further stated that it is usually difficult to hold a mining company responsible for a particular.

“Environmental pollution as the companies channel their waste products far away from the mining sites which makes it difficult for initialization of compensation.

Okoli stressed that the environmental pollutions can only be mitigated by the use of Isotope finger printing as a forensic tool for the management of environmental pollution through the samples collected from different mining sites.

He, therefore, recommended the development of Isotope finger printing for forensic test.