Following the worrisome mining activities across the country and other West African countries, Global Rights and the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability, ACCA, Thursday, lamented poor regulation of artisanal and illegal miners in host communities.
Speaking at a two-day summit on ‘ECOWAS Mining Directive and Social Safeguards for Mining Host Communities in West Africa’, the Executive Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, pointed that activities of artisanal and illegal miners have led to serious health problems and environmental degradation in the sub-region.
Baiyewu also explained that the goal of the regional conference is for West African countries to provide a better understanding of the ECOWAS Mining Directives, adding that it will equip host communities as well with prerequisite knowledge on how to achieve accountability.
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 government on human rights and development impacts of mining, and facilitate opportunities for joint action and problem-solving.”
Earlier, various speakers from Senegal, Niger Republic and Guinea, said the contemporary issues affecting women and children in Mining host communities must be speedily addressed.
Also, representatives from Kogi and Niger States, Ojochogu Okigbo and Mary Abdul respectively explained that mining licenses, as well as proper environmental impact assessment, should be prioritised in the remediation process.