A non-governmental, non-profit organization Urban-Rural Environmental Defenders (U-RED) has raised alarm over continued indiscriminate and unsafe blasting of rocks at residential areas across Federal Capital Territory (FCT) communities and environs.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop the group organized for village heads, community leaders and other stakeholders in Bwari at the Sarkin Bwari palace in Bwari Area Council Abuja, Director U-RED Gods ‘power Martins lamented that deposit of hills/rocks In the communities are supposed to be a blessing in various ways to the communities but regretted that rocks are being blasted everyday few meters to the communities thereby exposing the communities to all manner of socio-health risks, death and environmental degradation.
Describing the situation as worrisome, he drew the attention of participants to the dire consequences of this unwholesome blasting of rocks and quarry activities with crude technologies leading to deafening sounds, vibrations leading to cracks and collapse of buildings as well as death from flying rocks and pollution of the environment among others.
“While we are not against exploitation of natural resources, destroying the environment and host communities should not be the cost of doing so.
“The questions before of us today are: what do we think will happen to the communities and its environment if this harmful blasting of rocks and unsafe quarry activities continue unabated? When the hazardous blasting of rocks and unhealthy quarrying activities stop, who restores or remedies the environment, the craters, security pits, cracks and compacted soil.
“Should we allow the environmental hazards to continue or join hands to legitimately correct the worrisome activity? These are the questions begging for answers.
It is necessary to remind ourselves that it is extremely dangerous to fold our hands to watch and allow what we know is deadly to destroy us. It is worthy to note that extractive dangers that threaten the existence of host communities and the environment are far greater that any benefits we think it offers if any. We all have a divine responsibility to the environment. If we neglect or fail in the responsibility, we pay dearly for it.
The challenge before all; government, citizens, extractors, and host communities is to reverse this societal ill of reckless rock blasting in residential communities to forestall the imminent dangers on the host communities and environment. The environment is already bleeding… We must all work together to address the offensive approach to mining with the aim to ensure total compliance to Mineral and Mining Act 2007 and Mineral and Mining Regulations 2011 before the future of host communities already threatened are wiped out by the harmful act.
The sensitization programme was organized on the premise that local communities and individuals have the right to a clean and healthy environment, to livelihood, right of nature, right to participate in decision making on all matters that affect the community and environment especially on developments that may adversely affect the community and environment in line with “Environmental Considerations and Rights of Host Communities” of The Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, Chapter 4.
Similarly, he called on government to ensure quarries are approved at least 50 kilometers away from residents, use of clean energy, formulate stringent mining laws and slam heavy fine on defaulters.
The Community chiefs and leaders greatly appreciated U-RED and agreed that the right thing should be done, that a cleaner way of blasting should be employed.
In his remarks, Director Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) Nnimmo Bassey decried frequent rock blasting with explosives which according to him leads to destruction of building, infrastructure, environmental pollution and violation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *