For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Mining: Plateau Youth Group Calls for Climate Justice In Their Community

-Advocates Reclamation of Mining Sites

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The Youths of Barkin Ladi Government Area of Plateau State, during a one-day People’s Assembly, organised by the Plateau Youth Climate Justice and Accountability Initiative( PYCJAI) have called for climate justice through the implementation of mining laws and corporate governance.

The community, at the event which was held on Saturday, September 30, 2023, called on the Nigerian government to ensure the involvement and deployment of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) at mining sites to curtail the sale, distribution, and abuse of drugs. Proper regulation to ensure testing for land safety in mining in line with scientific procedures among others.

Participants advocated the enforcement of policies and regulations of the Mining Act of 2007, strict compliance with Corporate Social Responsibilities(CSR), Sensitization on financial literacy for artisan miners and parental responsibilities, and enforcement of laws concerning underage mining and child labour

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Barkin Ladi Miners Association, Honourable Sam P. Gyang with over 30 years in the mining industry stated that Land reclamation has been practised in the area, especially with the big corporations in the mining industry and also with the artisan miners who consists of the majority of miners today. He also added that land reclamation was both the responsibility of the organizations or unions and big corporations as the government cannot do everything on its own. However, Mr Gyang noted that enforcement of land reclamation was usually a challenge especially with the artisan miners thus calling for a synergy between the miners, host communities, and the various unions in the community.

Also speaking, the chairman of the Berom Youth Movement(BYM) Barkin Ladi Chapter Mr. Musa thanked the PLYCJAI for the townhall meeting as it had exposed them to the importance of sustaining their environment after mining by filling up mining sites and also the planting of trees which they have been doing but faced certain challenges with its enforcement. He also identified child labour in mining camps as a challenge faced by the community as a result of mining.

Similarly, the Women Leader of the Barkin Ladi Mining Association, Mrs. Iri Miyu Dung identified drug abuse,  Gender Based Violence(GBV) as some of the challenges experienced by the community. She stressed the need for a quick intervention to prevent the youths from becoming menaces to society.

In his remarks, PLYCJAI Coordinator, Daniel Mark who said the purpose of the event was to sensitize the youths on the importance of land reclamation and ways that the environment can be sustained for  the future generation, called on the mining community to be conscious of the activities of land reclamation to mitigate the effects of climate change

According To Daniel Mark “In the world, we are in today, mining is very important as it provides batteries, wrist watches and many other things we make use of at home and in our offices. As such mining cannot be eradicated because it serves as a means of livelihood and generates revenue.

He however noted that “the impacts of mining in the communities cannot be overemphasized especially with the issues of climate change. He called on the miners to be conscious of the importance of Land Reclamation in the mining industry especially as the impact of climate change is affecting the whole world evident with the changes in rainfall patterns, erosion, high temperatures, flooding, and desertification

Highlights of the event were a visit to His Royal Highness, Dagwom Rwei of Barkin Ladi Da Edward Bot who commended the team for the visit and looks forward to more engagements. He also added that he will look into the issues mentioned within his jurisdictions and call on the government to make available tree seedlings that can be planted at the reclaimed mining sites just as it used to be in the 90s when the government championed the cause of tree planting.

The event was held in commemoration of the African Peoples Counter COP (APCC)  which was held from the 18th to 29th of September, 2023 across Africa, organised by the African Climate Justice Collectives (ACJC).  

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