The Cost of Coal - The social, economical, and environmental impacts of Coal Mining in Nigeria

Following the discovery of coal in Enugu in 1909, Nigeria was ushered into the extractive industry age with huge prospects of economic development. Coal accounted for a considerable size of Nigeria’s revenue during independence and provided the platform for increased infrastructural development in the southeastern parts of Nigeria. While the benefits of coal was mainly economical and immediate, exploration for the mineral provided the platform for environmental contamination, erosion, and huge health risks to miners (Artisanal and Professional).

Following the discovery of oil, the impacts of coal exploration has disappeared from national discussions, however this has not stopped the continuous degradation of the environment where coal mines are being operated. Most of these mines are artisanal mines, operated by poor community people who see this as one of the primary means of making an income, without adequate use of proper mining and extraction technologies to reduce its impacts on health and the environment.

Looking at this paradigm, the UNYI MAINSTREAMING PROJECT proposes strategies built around the use of collaborative, educative and innovative platforms in ensuring that the negative impacts of coal mining on the health and environment of rural communities located in close proximity to coal mines and fields in Kogi state are sustainably reduced.

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