In continuation of it’s visitation to illegal coal mining sites and the sealing of such sites in the state, Enugu state Government, Tuesday, visited and sealed Aja Agu-Agangwu mining site in Enugu- Ngwo, and Iva Valley Camp One coal mining site, Iva Valley ,all in Enugu North Local government Area of the state.
Pix: A trailer waiting to carry illegally mined coal at Enugu Ngwo
Speaking to Newsmen shortly after sealing the sites, leaders of the state team, Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof Sam Ugwu and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr. Kingsley Nnaji, said the miners do not have licences to mine the coal.
The Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof Ugwu lamented the environmental degregation the illegal mining had caused in some parts oi the state. He said, “they pollute the environent and people drink the water ( the stream at the site) which has been polluted.
Pix- The state team sealed an illegal Coal mining site in Enugu- North
The Commissioner said that drinking polluted water could cause sicknesses to the consumers.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Energy and Mineral Resources Dr Kingsley Nnaji said about six months ago there was a warning from the State Government for miners to stop mining but they went ahead mining.
” It is unfortunate that people defiled Government’s directives. We are watching. We are going to visit all illegal miners. Enugu state Government is not anti- business . We have environmental regulations. They should do the right thing. Every miner should have Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA) , Environmental Impact Social Assessment ( EISA) and Environmental Audit carried out yearly,” Nnaji said.
He added that the State Government team was mandated to visit the illegal mining sites,seal the sites , arrest workers at the sites, and charge them to court.
Nnaji lamented that the workers at the sites ran away when they saw the State Government ‘s team and no arrest was made. He said visits to illegal Coal mining sites will be a continous exercise.
Picture- Sealed illegal mining site in Aja Agu-Agangwu
He urged the communities , the traditional rulers, the President-Generals , the councillors to work with the state Government , inform the Government when investors come to their communities, especially in the signing of Community Development Agreement to ensure things were done right.
A Geologist and Deputy Director in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Arum Nnamdi , condemned the illegal mining, stressing that ” the premature exposure of the subsurface formation will cause a serious ecological damage to the environent.
Ugwu (L) Nnaji(M) Arum(R)
“The damages range from biodiversity loss to dangerous gassous emissions. This will equally cause Climate change in the areas,” Arum said.
It was gathered that tthe illegal Coal mining sites were discovered during the monthly bush combing of the Enugu North Forest Guard Command.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama