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Communities In Enugu Express Concern Over Illegal Mining Operations

Enugu State mining communities have voiced worries about the frequent violations of their environmental safety and the coal miners’ disrespect for their health while working in their locations.

The communities beseeched the Enugu State Government to step in and ensure that the mining consent obtained by companies involved in mining conforms to global best practices, protecting them from health hazards and pollution, while also lamenting that their sources of drinking water and livelihoods have been contaminated by mining activities.

They also accused mining companies of “brazen disregard for the environmental safety of our people whose sources of water and farming have been polluted from the source.”

“Following a series of deliberations, we have unanimously agreed that we need to review the mining consent obtained by mining companies from our communities that have not lived up to expectations.

“Some of them were fraught with illegality. This is in addition with brazen disregard for the environmental safety of our people whose sources of water and farming have been polluted from the source,” they stated.

Igwe George Ejikeme Onoh, the traditional ruler of Nsude autonomous community in Udi local government, spoke on behalf of all the mining communities in the state and urged people and organizations interested in mining to get in contact with the government through the Secretary of the State Government to confirm that they have the consent of communities that adhere to moral, ethical, and professional standards that ensure the safety of their host communities.

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The “decision takes immediate effect upon this information,” he added.

Igwe John E. Ugwu of the Ezimo autonomous community, Mbah Cyril Eze, the president-general of the Ezimo town union in Udenu LGA, Engr. Chibuzor Ngene, the president-general of the Akwuke town union, the Enugu South council area, Obiesie Walter Onyeka, the president-general of the Awha Imezi, the Ezeagu council area, Eze Chinedu, the president-general of Nsude, Igwe Ozor Paulinus, the traditional ruler of the Awha Imezi autonomous community, the Ezeagu local government area, and a number of other people are among those who signed the statement.

At a press conference on Tuesday in Enugu, they spoke through their presidents-general and traditional rulers, emphasizing that the decision to withdraw all consent was due to the failure of some of the companies living below expectations and destroying their farmlands and vegetation through environmental degradation.

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