The Unyi Mainstreaming Project - A Campaign Against Dirty Energy

The Unyi MainStreaming Project - A Campaign Against Dirty Energy

With support from the Global Greengrants Fund (GGF), the Unyi Mainstreaming Project looks to adopt a collaborative strategy that will provide increased stakeholder interaction, awareness and the sensitization of key target groups using sustainable mass media platforms and space. The project will build the capacity of representatives’ from the Federation of Nigerian mining host communities (Kogi State chapter), civil society organizations and journalists, working and reporting on the extractive industries within the state.

The discovery of crude oil in the Nigeria and the subsequent civil war negatively affected coal production as most of the coalmines were abandoned. In addition, a drastic change in the power generation options for Nigeria shifted from coal-powered machines to petrol and diesel powered engines, which furthermore hurt the economic relevance of coal within the Nigerian economic context. Families, whose economic dependence was firmly hinged on coal production was worst hit, with increase loss of economic revenue for these families and a sharp increase in the levels of poverty amongst rural and urban families. The total neglect of the coal mining industry also provided the opportunity for increased artisanal mining of coal by rural miners and families. These subsequent neglect by the federal government of the coal industry and the increase in mining activities of artisanal miners has provided the platform for increase environmental pollution and increased human health challenges in urban and rural communities. 

Although industrial scale mining is non evident in rural communities, artisanal mining continues to provide low grade income to miners who internally sell its produce to urban and rural communities who use for food production and preservation. Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal government and a Chinese consortium in 2013, local communities became very unsettled, as there was not enough interface between the Federal government, mining corporations, and rural communities located in these mining areas. Testimonies from local communities show that due diligence was not undertaken by the government during this allocation, as the communities do not have any clear indications on the extent or limit of the extractive process and the resulting impacts on the surrounding communities via the development of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). In addition, ongoing mining fields and abandoned mining pits surrounding communities where mining was hitherto carried out continue to pose environmental and health risks to them. Estimates put the number of persons impacted stand at over 100,000 people. 


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