Research Report On Mining Industry’s Compliance To Social And Environmental Safeguards In Uganda
Uganda’s mineral sector is increasingly becoming important as a major propeller of socio-economic growth in the country. This research report highlights whether mining companies are complying with established social and environmental safeguards enshrined in national and international policies and legislation. The study also investigated whether the mining companies were causing pollution of the environment and therefore affecting human health. This was done through analysing soil and water samples taken from mining sites and sites where the Gold ore is processed to extract the mineral (“hotspots”) and along the slope to assess the effect/impact of drainage on pollution in soil and water.
The study discovered that multinational corporations in the mineral sector, especially oil and gas in Uganda, attempt to comply with national and international social and environmental safeguards, albeit to a limited extent on some safeguards such as compensation and resettlement; avoidance of forceful evictions of persons affected by their development projects. On environmental issues, MNCs score highly on compliance. It is the artisan, small- and medium-scale (ASMs) actors that tend to ignore or not comply with national and international social and environmental safeguards inadvertently or by deliberately. It is ASMs that were found to cause environmental pollution and to negatively affect the health of the individuals/communities living in or in proximity to mining operations.
Also,the study discovered that there were varying levels of Cyanide and Mercury Oxide pollution in ASM environments, most of which was thirty to 1000 times above the WHO and NEMA permissible standards. While there were signs among humans of possible chemical poisoning, the study did not undertake a bio-assessment of the effects/impacts of pollution on humans. This is a study anticipated in a subsequent research. There was evidence of people using water that was heavily polluted with Cyanide and Mercury Oxide for cleaning purposes. No evidence was found of persons consuming this water. However, this could not be ruled-out since the pollution was detected a few kilometres away from the mining sites, especially in Mubende district.
Date: 01/02/2018 | Download full report here