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Impacts of mining on income generating activities of rural dwellers in Itesiwaju local government area of Oyo State, Nigeria.


Mining is a major economic activity in many developing countries [Tauli-Corpuz 1997].Mining operations, whether small or large-scale, are inherently disruptive to the environment [Makweba, et al, 1996], this activities produce enormous quantities of waste that can have deleterious impacts on the environment for decades [UNEP, 1997]. The environmental deterioration caused by mining occurs mainly as a result of inappropriate and wasteful working practices and rehabilitation measures. Mining has a number of common stages or activities, each of which has potentially-adverse impacts on the natural environment, society and cultural heritage, the health and safety of mine workers, and communities based in close proximity to operations [Akabzaa, 2000].

The quality of life in both developed and developing countries is significantly affected by the products of the mining industry (NEST, 1991). In Nigeria, mining started many centuries before the arrival of the European and the Arabs who preceded them. Modern large-scale mining in an area is expected to last for a minimum of 10 years (Adekoya, 2001), however in Nigeria mining is mostly carried out by traditional methods with locally available technology. However, gold; Clay; Iron; Tin; Salt; and Soda were among the most important mineral being mined (NEST, 1991). These minerals were used in body adornment, for building, construction of industry; bridges and dams. These mining activities occupied a highly respected position in the additional economies of large parts of Nigeria and contributed greatly to intra-tribal and inter-tribal commerce as well as conflict in the area (NEST, 1991).

As indicated by Noronha [2000] the social and environmental impacts are more pervasive in regions where mining operations are newly established or are closing down. Several authors such as [Tauli-Corpuz 1997and Filer, 1998] commented on the potentially-adverse impacts of mining, which include displacement of local people from ancestral lands, marginalization, and oppression of people belonging to lower economic classes. The environment and its significance to human life has increasingly become the focus of national and international attention. The decades have witnessed a greater awareness of the destructive effect of uncontrollable exploitation on the environment without conscious effort at replacement of used resources (Ojeniyi, 1995).

Nigeria is richly endowed with a variety of solid minerals of various categories ranging from precious metals to various stones and also industrial mineral such as barites, gypsum, kaolin and marble. The level of exploitation of these minerals though very low in relation to the extent of deposits found in the country but the exploitation is been done without given proper attention to the environment. One of the objectives of the new national policy on solid minerals is to ensure the orderly development of the mineral resources of the country (Nigeria Mineral Composition, 2000).

Generally, mineral resources are classified in terms of their natural state into three groups mainly metallic, non-metallic and carbonaceous. Nigeria has arguably the largest Bitumen, Columbite and Tin deposits in the world today. The country's coal is one of the best in the world with its low sulphur, ash contents and high calorific value. The huge deposits that abound have been very conservatively estimated. Precious minerals including Gold, Diamond, Bauxite, Gypsum, Byrite, and Beryl, tourmaline, aquamarine, quartz and others exist in unbelievable quantities. Nigeria boasts of enormous salts deposits in the Benue; besides tantalite another key mineral occurs in very significant quantities across the country (Nigerian Mineral composition, 2000).

The environment should be properly managed because according to Okali and Amubode, (1995) man and his environment has an interdependent relationship, as man affects the environment and this turns affect it. It is from this environment that man can provide for himself and family a means of livelihood for survival. There are several activities such as agriculture (i.e. farming) and other various activities that could be refer to as income generating activities that man derive from the environment for a sustainable livelihood. It is against this background that the study intend to assess the impacts of mining on income generating activities in Itesiwaju local government area of Oyo states

Research Methodology

The study area is Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State. The head-quarter of Itesiwaju Local government Area is located at Otu, which is located at latitude 4 1/2 North and longitude 8 % East of the Equator. It is about 140km North of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The topography is fairly undulating with highest latitude of 1,800ft. The total land mass is around 410 [km.sup.2]; while the population according to 2006 census is 145,003. The major occupation of the people in the area are farming and trading. Other income activities in the area include mining.

The population of the study constitutes all rural dwellers (male and female household heads) in the mining areas in Itesiwaju local government area in Oyo State. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select the sample size. Itesiwaju local government is made up of 24 villages. Four (4) out of these villages where mining activities are mostly being carry out were randomly selected. These are Ofiki; Babaode; Komu and Otu. Two of the villages were purposively chosen because of the intensity of mining activities. These are Otu and Ofiki. Otu has 621 household and Ofiki 389 household making a total of 1,010 households from which 10% was randomly selected to give a total of 110 respondents.

Data collection and analysis

Data were obtained from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data were obtained using a combination of methods which include focus group discussion (FGD) and participatory tool of Pair-wise ranking was to identify problems caused by mining activities as experienced by the local people in the study area. Frequencies, percentages and means are used in the discussion. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used for hypotheses testing.

Results and discussion

Personal characteristics of the respondents

Personal characteristics analyzed include age, religion, sex, educational level, marital status, family pattern, family size, tribe and primary occupation

Personal characteristic of respondents

As shown in table 1, thirty percent (30%) of the rural dwellers fall in the age range of 30-40yrs. This shows that the majority of the respondents are well within the economic and reproductive age. Sixty two percent (60%) of the respondents are married. This implies that a high rate of responsibility exists among them and they tend to raise large family sizes as 48% of the respondents were observed to have between seven to twelve children.

Religion in Itesiwaju Local government area is almost a uniform relationship as 36% are Christians, 33% are Moslems and 30% are traditionalist. This could be as a result of intermarriages between different religious sects. Sixty four percent (64%) of the respondents have no formal education and are predominantly farmers as 48% of the respondents are crop cultivators while 21% are livestock farmers; however seventy percent (70%) of the respondents had secondary occupation. This implies that majority of the respondents have other sources of income apart from their primary occupation. Seventy three percent (73%) of the respondents are Yoruba due to the fact that Itesiwaju local government area is predominantly Yoruba. Twenty percent (20%) are Fulani while 10% are Hausas. Majority of the respondents are Yoruba with few Fulanis and Igbo reside in the area.

Impact of Mining on the Livelihoods of Rural Inhabitants

The evidence from Table 2 indicates that respondents are favourably disposed to impact of mining in the area through benefit derivable from the existence of mining activities. Majority (81.8%) of respondents benefit from sources of mining employment as hired laborer; 87.2% from carpentry; 80.9% from food hawking; 82.7% from subsistence (petty) business and 80.9% from shoe making. The results indicated that mining activities have created a multitude of income opportunities for the inhabitants of Itesiwaju. However, 83.6% perceived mining activities as unfavourable to farming activities, fishing (80%), 77.3%, hunting (77.3%), agricultural production and processing activities (66.3%) because of associated feasible land degradation in the area.

A pair-wise ranking of problems, which elicited local peoples' perceptions on the problems experienced in mining communities, indicates that the most pressing problems in mining regions are degraded agricultural land, pollution of water sources from mining chemicals, acid rain, dust, mine pits, cracking and the collapse of buildings as a result of Mineral extraction which involves the excavation of underground pits and the destruction of rocks using explosives, which has caused regional land degradation.

Social and cultural impacts of mining have also had socio-cultural impacts. These include displacement and unemployment, child labour, accidents, and theft. The Advent of mining in itesiwaju has resulted in high influxes of migrants in search of jobs. This, in turn, has resulted in prostitution, increased incidences of banditry, changes to indigenous lifestyle, and increased competition among local residents for natural resources. The long-term implications of such displacement include accelerated food insecurity to landless farmers, increased poverty and intensified environmental degradation. Unprotected pits, for instance, during the rainy seasons, form breeding grounds for disease vectors such as mosquitoes the agents that spread malaria.

Continuous disposal of mine wastes contributes to air and water contamination, which are detrimental to human health, livestock and wildlife biodiversity, and have serious effects on the welfare of the mining communities, especially groups of women and children. Displacement has already caused conflicts between the local people and the mine operators. The tendency of children working in mining spots encourages truancy in school and increases the school dropout rate.

Correlation Analysis of Rural Dweller Personal Characteristics and Their Income Generating Activities before Mining

Pearson's correlation analysis revealed that age [r=-0.078: p>0.005] is negatively correlated to income generating activities before mining. This implies that as age of the rural dwellers increase, their income generating activities decreases before mining. Correlation analysis reveals that the number of children [r=-0.056; p>0.005] is negatively correlated to the income generating activities of the rural dwellers. This implies that as the number of children increases, the income generating activities of the rural dwellers decrease before mining. Correlation analysis reveals that family size is positively correlated [r=0.073; p>0.005] to income generating activities of the rural dwellers. This also implies that as married people increase the income generating activities also increase.

T-Test Comparing the Income Generating Activities Engaged In By the Rural Dwellers before and During Mining

T-test analysis for comparing the income generating activities engaged in by the rural dwellers before mining [t=0.00; p<0.005] and the income generating activities engaged in during mining [t=0.00; p<0.005] reveals that there is a significant difference between the income generating activity engaged in before mining, and the income generating activity engaged in during mining by the rural dwellers. The mean of the income generating activity engaged in by the rural dwellers before mining(x=2.67) is greater than the mean of the income generating activity engaged in by the rural dwellers after mining (x=.2.15)This implies that there is a difference in the income generating activity engaged by the rural dwellers before and during mining.

Recommendations and conclusions

Mining practices have already caused serious social and environmental impacts in the study area. These problems include land degradation, damage to water quality, pollution, and harm to livestock and wildlife biodiversity.

Although there is growing awareness of the importance of sound environmental management amongst mining stakeholders and Government officials in Nigeria, mitigation strategies are possibly offset by conflicts of interest on both political and economic grounds at central and local levels. To address the impacts of mining:

The government should aim at providing technical support to local mine stakeholders such as training in facilitation and management tasks to local stakeholders. New technology has to be developed that uses fewer chemicals during extraction and processing, and mine waste should be regulated and turned into a non-harmful form before it is discharged to waste ponds.

It has to be mandatory for all mining activities taking place in Oyo state, at both a large- and small scale, to submit environmental impact assessment reports before a license to mine or explore can be granted. Improved regulations and independent monitoring teams should be commissioned to intervene before environmental and social problems spiral out of control.

Strategies to eliminate illegal mining and to promote other income-generating activities like agriculture production and agro-allied industry.


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J.O. Oladeji (1); K.A. Thomas (2) and Ige S.O.O. (3)

(1), (2), (3) Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Indigenous perceptions of the environmental impacts of mining

 Mine problems 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rank

1 Mining pit X 2nd
2 Water pollution X 6th
3 Dust X 3rd
4 Collapse of building X 4th
5 Acid rain X 5th
6 Degraded land X 1st
7 Frequency 5 1 4 3 2 6

Table 1: Frequency Distribution of respondents Personal

 Personal characteristics Frequency Percentage

a. Age range
 Less than 30 20 18.2
 30-40 33 30.8
 41-50 29 26.4
 50 and above 28 24.6

 Total 110 100

b. Gender
 Male 62 56.4
 Female 48 43.6

 Total 110 100

c. Religion
 Christianity 40 36.4
 Islam 37 33.6
 Traditional 33 30.0

 Total 110 100

d. Marital status
 Single 23 20.9
 Married 68 62.1
 Separated 11 10.0
 Widowed 8 7.0

 Total 110 100

e. Marriage pattern
 Monogamy 39 35.5
 Polygamy 36 31.8
 Polyandry - -
 Extended 24 21.8
 Others 12 10.9

 Total 110 100

f. Educational level
 No formal education 71 64.6
 Primary education 18 16.4
 Secondary education 15 13.6
 Post secondary education 3 2.7
 Others 3 2.7

 Total 110 100

g. No of children
 1-4 34 30.9
 5-8 57 41.8
 9-14 19 17.3

 Total 110 100

h. Family size
 1-6 32 29.1
 7-12 53 48.2
 13-21 25 22.7

 Total 110 100

i. Tribe
 Yoruba 73 66.4
 Fulani 22 20.0
 Ibo 4 3.6
 Hausa 11 10.0

 Total 110 100

j. Primary occupation
 Livestock rearing 24 21.8
 Crop cultivation 53 48.2
 Others 33 30.0

 Total 110 100

k. Secondary occupation
 Yes 77 7.0
 No 21 19.1

Total 110 100

Field survey 2002

Table 2: Perception of the respondents on the influence of
mining on income generating activities.

Income generating activities Perception

 Favourable Unfavourable

 Freq. % Freq. %

Farming 6 5.4 92 83.6
Fishing 5 4.5 88 80.0
Hunting 7 6.4 85 77.3
Gathering of forest produce 6 5.5 85 77.3
Tapping of palm wine 11 10.0 71 64.5
Bush meat production 11 10.0 80 72.7
Agricultural production and processing 15 13.6 73 66.3
Hired labour 90 81.8 7 6.4
Carpentry 96 87.2 2 1.8
Blacksmith 92 83.4 2 1.8
Food hawking 89 80.9 8 7.3
Petty trading 91 82.7 7 6.4
Sales of building materials 51 46.4 19 17.3
Mechanic 59 53.6 14 12.7
Butchery 22 20.0 9 8.2
Cane weaving 45 40.9 18 16.4
Shoe making 89 80.9 5 4.5
Livestock rearing 21 19.1 54 49.1

Field survey 2002
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Author:Oladeji, J.O.; Thomas, K.A.; Ige, S.O.O.
Publication:International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences
Date:Dec 1, 2010
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