Study on Environment and Artisanal Mining presented in Pemba

The report warns of issues such as child labor, the distance between mines and health facilities and the lack of knowledge about the environmental impact caused by the activity.

Right to health , Environmental rights , Artisanal mining , Cultural rights

The dangers and risks associated with artisanal mining are seen as an integral part of life without deserving special attention.

The results of the study by medicusmundi and the Centro Terra Viva on artisanal mining in the districts of Ancuabe, Montepuez and Namuno are already known. This survey, funded by the European Union, was carried out as part of the project “Artisanal Mining: Environmental and Cultural Rights in Cabo Delgado” and its presentation took place on June 11, 2019, in the Magna room of the Catholic University of Mozambique (UCM) in Pemba. The meeting was attended by participants from public institutions, academics and civil society organizations based in this provincial capital. 

The Coordinator of the Pemba Operational Research Center (NIOP), Dr. Mussa Manuel Aly, led the presentation of the study. He began by contextualizing and sequentially pointed out the objectives, the methods, the results and finally the conclusions and their recommendations. 

With this study, medicusmundi aimed to map artisanal mining areas in the three project implementation districts, with a view to obtaining cross-sectional information that will serve as a basis for a better understanding of this sector of activity. From the data and information collected, it was found, for example, that the distances between mining sites and health facilities are too long and more than 10 km apart. It was also noticed that it is among women and young population that there is the highest illiteracy rate. The survey also confirmed the existence of child labor in artisanal mining activity and signaled various risks to which artisanal miners and their families are exposed. A special warning was made of the lack of information on the environmental impact resulting from mining activity. 

For a significant part of the population, the extraction of ruby, grenade, corundum and gold has become one of the main means of livelihood, so that the inherent dangers and risks are seen as an integral part of life without deserving special attention. 

From the recommendations, it was stated that interventions should focus on reducing underlying (not immediate) vulnerabilities and that, in collaboration with other Provincial Directorates (Health, Labor and Mineral Resources and Energy), it is urgent to establish means to reduce risks to which artisanal miners are subject. 

After the presentation of the study, the event ended with the screening of the documentary “A Febre do Ouro”, a medicusmundi film produced by Kanaki Films and directed by Raúl de la Fuente.

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