SAFETY, ENVIRONMENTAL AND RISK MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT IN ARTISANAL MINING. CASE STUDY; BELLEL, ADAMAWA REGION OF CAMEROON
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Artisanal Mining is an important activity, and provides a subsistent source of livelihood to the involved locals, artisans since it requires relatively negligible capital to start up. But the effects of artisanal mining activities are detrimental and are often overlooked, and these effects include; deforestation, soil erosion, land degradation, abandoned pits, surface water pollution, existence of water lodge pits which serve as active breathing grounds for mosquitoes. Also, these activities pose health threats, such as; kidney failure caused mainly by the mercury used in the amalgamation of gold, body pains and fatigue resulting from labour-intensive activities, using tools such as cutlasses, chisels, pick axes, hammers, etc. These effects on the artisans are pretty severe. This study therefore was aimed at understanding the concepts and methods of safety, environmental and risk management assessment, to assess the biophysical and socio-economic impacts of artisanal mining activities, and evaluate the mitigation measures which have been adopted to ameliorate the impacts of artisanal mining. Mitigation measures are also proposed in the course of this study. To achieve this research, a few research questions were established with attempts to find solutions to these among other questions which include 1. What are the major environmental issues caused by artisanal mining? 2. What are the different risks associated to these environmental issues? 3. How can we then mitigate these issues? 4. What are the alternative processes involved in the artisanal operations with less impacts? Apparently, the most effective methods of managing and controlling artisanal mining activities are the actions plans and regulations laid down by the government. To solve the problems put forward by the research questions and to realize the objective(s) of this study, data was collected, quantitative and qualitative; quantitative from use of questionnaires distributed to the residents of the area and using SPSS for data analysis, while qualitative was field observation made by the researcher and enhanced by photographs. The results of the research explain the various environmental impacts of artisanal mining, the socio-economic benefits and its negative impacts such as the impacts on the health and the way of life of the population. Also, mitigate measures already in place are listed and new measures are proposed which if adopted would make are artisanal mining a more sustainable activity.
Keywords: Artisanal mining, environment, safety, risks.
Further reading: Engineering project topics with Materials