Cameroon: WWF Initiates Public Dialogue on Sustainable Mining in Cameroon

 

The World Wide Fund for Nature and Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER) a local NGO, have initiated the first ever public dialogue for a national policy for the promotion of sustainable artisanal and small scale mining in Cameroon. Industrial mining is still at a nascent stage, while artisanal and small scale mining has witnessed a boom over the years in Cameroon. Between 2012 and 2014, 11754 authorizations for exploration of artisanal and semi-mechanized mining were issued though the number of permits declined considerably after 2014, with just 751 permits issued between 2015 and 2016.

The sector is, however, bedeviled by inadequate regulatory and institutional problems, lack of transparency and conflicts between local people and foreign interest groups, health and environmental hazards. The public dialogue that took place from 10-12 May 2017 in Bertoua, East Region of Cameroon, brought together members of parliament, traditional rulers, businesspeople, representatives of nine government ministries, councils, traditional rulers, NGOs, representatives of local communities and indigenous people.

Suivre @camerbe

"This public dialogue ensures that reforms in the sector are participatory and help in identifying the priorities for building a responsible and sustainable artisanal and small scale mining sector that contributes to Cameroon's emergence by 2035," says Cleto Ndikumagenge, Director of Conservation for WWF Cameroon Country Program Office.

Mining exploitation sites are full of risks for artisanal miners and the environment. A small gold mining site discovered some 10km from the town of Betare Oya in eastern Cameroon in December 2016, has attracted over 1500 people from Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Nigeria and Mali. While an average miner is sure to make over FCFA 300,000 ($600) a month from digging through the rocks to crushing and washing for gold, they face many health risks.

 
 

"The sanitary conditions are a grave cause for concern. There are no health centres here for the teeming population and everyone has to struggle to treat themselves when sick. There are no toilets," states Harman Betoli, a miner at Betare Oya. "Many youths have abandoned school and are streaming in here to make fast money, regardless of the risks," adds Betoli.

Besides health risks, cases of accidents and deaths have been recorded in abandoned sites. Artisanal miners are also concerned about a possible invasion of rich Chinese businesspeople who allegedly collude with government officials to buy off the sites and send away most local miners.

"We are overwhelmed by the situation; mining sites exploited by Chinese are left uncovered resulting in numerous accidents. Hardly does a week pass by without us recording fatal accidents," says Adamou Iya Justin, Mayor of Betare Oya.

"Artisanal mining exploitation is beset by conflicts of interests," says Moise Malla Noah, Delegate for Mining for the East Region of Cameroon. "Local people complain their lands have been taken without their consent," he states. Malla believes Cameroon new mining code, promulgated into in December 2016, "sufficiently addresses some of the problems emanating from artisanal and small scale mining."

The over 80 participants at the workshop recommended that, "public consultations be organized before mining permits are issued to potential miners." They also called on Cameroon's Ministry in charge of environmental protection and sustainable development to step up systematic inspection of mining activities and surveillance of the environment. It was recommended local councils be involved in the attribution of mining exploitation permit and surveillance and environmental management. Participants also requested the government to accelerate the process of transfer of mining royalties to beneficiary local councils and communities.

 

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 |



HAKIMADINI AND VOLUNTEERS VISITED BY AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE

  1. This week HakiMadini was visited by Ms Heather Randall (pictured far left) and Ms Julie McCullum (3rd from right) from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Ms Randall and Ms McCull…
  2. {read by 37 people}


ACCACIA: UPDATE FOLLOWING PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE FINDING;

  1. Further to yesterday's announcement, Acacia would like to confirm that it is continuing to operate all three of its mines in Tanzania, namely Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara. We would also like t…
  2. {read by 36 people}


Training On Preventing Violent Extremism

  1. On 3rd June HakiMadini staff Erick Luwongo attended a one day training in Tanga on Preventing Violent Extremism. This training was basically intended to alert the participants on how religion can be m…
  2. {read by 60 people}


Police arrest 31 foreigners using youths to steal copper from the mines

  1. Police on the Copperbelt have arrested 31 foreigners allegedly using youth to steal copper from mines for their illegal mining activities. Some of the youngsters used for stealing are as young as 9-ye…
  2. {read by 54 people}


Govt: Dangote, mining firms have 3 months to list on DSE

  1. Dodoma. The government has said 12 mining companies, including Dangote Industries Limited, must start processing of listing a minimum of 30 per cent of each company's shareholding at the Dar es Salaam…
  2. {read by 79 people}


IANRA STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING

  1. Amani Mhinda from HakiMadini is attending steering Committee meeting of the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA), held at Birchwood Hotel Johannesburg from 29-31st May 2017. I…
  2. {read by 60 people}



khjg