- FG Trains Miners in Safer Techniques
The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on Thursday concluded a three-day visit to the goldmines at Ibodi, Ilesa in Osun State and the training of hundreds of artisanal and small-scale miners on personal safety and environmental protection at the sites.
Certificates were awarded to the miners after the training, while protective clothing and gadgets were also given to them for their safety.
One of the trainers, who is a health and safety professional, Dr. Adebola Odunsi, said the Federal Government discovered that artisanal miners were engaged in practices that exposed them and communities with gold deposits to health and environmental hazards.
Odunsi stated that the government wanted to stop the harmful practices and promote safer mining, which would be beneficial to the miners, the people in their host communities and the nation at large.
He advised the miners against digging without wearing protective clothing, while adding that they must stop the use of chemicals such as mercury and cyanide in their mining activities in order not to expose themselves to great health issues and pollution of the rivers as well as the flora and fauna.
The medical expert said poor mining activities could lead to serious health conditions such as infertility, severe cough and itching, and could also damage internal organs like the kidney and the liver.
Odunsi stated, “So, you must do everything to protect yourselves and to protect the environment. We want you to start safer mining from now on, this will guarantee your wellbeing, it will prevent environmental pollution and the host communities and the nation will be better for it.
“Miners should always wear helmet, goggles, face mask, overall, hand gloves and boots. You must wear these before you start digging and you must not wear them at home. Make sure you remove the protective clothing; take a bath and wear neat clothes back home after work. This is very important. If you go back home with the dust from the site, you can cause trouble for yourself and the people in the community.”
He added, “You must also make sure that you cover up every hole you dug while searching for gold. If you divert a river to another place while digging, make sure up you return it to its normal course after your activities.”