Global Advanced Research Journal of Environmental Science and Toxicology (GARJEST) ISSN: 2315-5140
February 2016 Vol. 5(1), pp. 001-008
Copyright © 2016 Global Advanced Research Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Ecological impact of artisanal and small scale mining in parts of Taraba state, Nigeria
Ahmed, Y.M. and *Oruonye, E.D.
Department of Geography, Taraba State University, P.M.B. 1167, Jalingo, Taraba State Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author`s E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 07039271480, 08033496833
Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) refers to informal mining activities undertaken by individuals and groups who rely heavily on manual labour, using simple implements and methods. However, because of the large number of people involved in ASM operation, significant ecological impact could be created within a very short period of time. The research was carried out in 12 selected mining sites in five mining communities namely; Maisamari, Yelwa, Gurgu, Didango and Jukun in Sardauna and Karim Lamido LGAs. Detailed field observation and measurements with vivid picture description and laboratory determination of the geochemical characteristics of soil and water of the affected areas were employed in this study. The findings of the results revealed the prevalence of abandoned mine pits ‘‘lottos’’ trenches and ponds that pose serious danger to grazing animals and human beings in the area. A total of 335,259.96m2 (33.525 hectares) of grazing land, farmland and forest reserve have been degraded in all the 12 mining sites in the two LGAs. Also, in Didango, a total of 560,990m3 of materials have been removed and dumped as mining heaps in the 3 mining sites. Other ecological impacts of the ASM include landslide, alteration of water courses, loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitats and pollution in surface and groundwater. This study recommend the need for the government to commence the process of remediation, reclamation or mitigation of the abandoned mine pits by undertaking inventory of such sites in the State and enforcing mining regulation to forestall future occurrences.
Keywords: Artisanal, Didango, Ecological, Small scale, Maisamari, Mining.