Evaluating the Consequences of Artisanal Gold Mining in Gidan Mai Wayo Community, Niger State, Nigeria.
Rural areas in Nigeria face numerous challenges that hinder the livelihood and wellbeing of their residents. One prominent issue is informal gold mining, which poses a significant threat to the environment and the inhabitants of these regions. Gidan Mai Wayo, a rural settlement, experiences severe environmental degradation due to the activities of artisanal gold miners. The community relies on surface and groundwater located around the mining sites, which could have adverse effects on their health.
This study aims to assess the impact of gold mining on the Gidan Mai Wayo community and its surroundings. The research utilizes both quantitative and qualitative approaches for data collection and analysis. Samples were taken from boreholes and wells, which serve as the primary sources of domestic water for the residents. Questionnaires were administered to both the residents, gauging their perceptions of gold mining, and the miners, assessing the techniques employed by artisanal gold miners. To evaluate the physical and social effects of gold mining on the environment, various methods such as mapping, satellite image classification, checklist, and Chi Square Test were employed.
The findings from this research indicate that the pH concentration in wells and boreholes near the mining sites was higher compared to those located farther away. Additionally, the study reveals an increase in criminal activities, such as burglary, drug abuse, banditry, and prostitution, in the area following the emergence of artisanal gold miners.
In conclusion, the activities of artisanal gold miners in the Gidan Mai Wayo community have had numerous adverse effects on the environment, including loss of vegetation and a decrease in water quality. As a result, the study recommends promoting alternative sources of rural livelihood, such as farming, fishing, and hunting, to dissuade the inhabitants from engaging in illegal mining activities.
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