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sharing in governance of extractive industries

Promoting Compliance To Social and Environmental Safeguards in Uganda's mining industry

Uganda’s mineral sector is increasingly becoming important. In 2014, Uganda completed a $75 million national mineral survey funded by the World Bank that identified occurrences of a wide range of mineral resources such as gold, uranium, tin, coltan, nickel, copper and tungsten existing in different parts of the country. The survey, intended to develop advanced geological data, divided Uganda into six blocks. Currently, a lot of mining activity in the country is being done at artisanal, small- and medium-scale levels focusing on selected minerals mainly Gold. Minerals that have been mined at relatively large-scale, include limestone, wolfram and tin.

Water Governance Institute conducted a research to investigate whether mining companies, artisanal and small scale miners are complying with established social and environmental safeguards enshrined in national and international policies, legislation, protocols, convention, treaties and agreements. The study also investigated whether mining operations were causing pollution of the environment and therefore affecting human health. This was done by analysing soil and water samples taken from mining sites and sites where the Gold ore is processed to extract the mineral (“hotspots”) and along the slope to assess the effect/impact of drainage on pollution in soil and water.

 

The research study revealed that Uganda has a number of policies, legislations and institutional frameworks that contain social and environmental safeguards. Similarly, it was observed that multinational corporations in the mineral sector MNCs score highly on compliance. It is ASMs that were found to cause environmental pollution and to negatively affect the health of the individuals/communities living in or in proximity to mining operations.

 

The study discovered that there were varying levels of Cyanide and Mercury Oxide pollution in ASM environments, most of which was thirty to 1000 times above the WHO and NEMA permissible standards.

 

In conclusion, the research recommends that:                                           

  • Government needs to continuously monitor and report on mining industry compliance to national and international social and environmental safeguards, including bio-monitoring the impacts of chemicals used in mining operations.
  • Also, CSOs need to engage in third-party monitoring and reporting mining industry’s compliance to social and environmental safeguards; 
  • Government needs to regulate the importation, use and handling of Cyanide and Mercury Oxide in Uganda.

Please find the research study on our website link; http://www.watergovinst.org/test/index.php?option=com_phocadownload...

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Comment by Emmanuel Sona Essoka on December 23, 2018 at 18:10
Interesting report

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