350.org, an international movement focused on ending the use of fossil fuels and building a world of community-led renewable energy for all, has on Monday called on the Nigerian government to protect rural communities against the negative consequences of environmental degradation caused by coal mining in Nigeria.
The call was made following a report by 350.org that shows that coal mining in Kogi and Gombe states, had led to extensive environmental degradation including the contamination of air, water and soil which continue to negatively affect the health of local communities, according to the report.
“The coal miners [identified] in the study are Dangote Cement, ETA Zuma 828 Coal Limited, and Lafarge (Ashaka) Cement. The three companies despite stating lofty “green” and environmental sustainability positions on their websites and investor documents including annual and sustainability reports, continue to practice coal mining in a way that totally disregards the health and livelihoods of local communities and its effects on the global climate crisis,” says a press statement signed by Landry Ninteretse, the managing director of 350Africa.org
“It is already well known how dirty coal as a source of energy is, so it was particularly surprising that our study and report by International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) revealed that a company as large and respected as Dangote Cement went ahead to undertake coal mining through Dangote Coal without conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is a mandatory requirement in Nigeria. It is therefore clear that Dangote is mining coal illegally in Kogi State and has recently commenced coal mining in owukpa community in Ogbadibo Local Government of Benue State,” Ninteretse said.
The group urged of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment to immediately carry out an environmental audit of all coal mining sites in Nigeria and investigate human rights violations being perpetuated in coal mining communities across Nigeria. In addition, the group noted that mining operations especially those undertaken by multinational companies such as Lafarge and Dangote should adhere to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
You may wish to download 350.org’s report about the impact of coal mining in Nigeria’s Kogi state here
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