Socioeconomic and Environmental Implications of Traditional Gold Mining in Sudan: The case of Barber Locality, River Nile State

Author(s)

Eltayeb Ibrahim Ahmed Wadi , Samir Mohmd Ali Hassan Alredaisy ,

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Volume 4 - July 2015 (07)

Abstract

This paper seeks to examine the socioeconomic and environmental implications of traditional gold mining in Sudan with special reference to Berber locality, River Nile State. The investigation is based on fieldwork conducted in April 2013.The main findings of the research are that, 93.4% of the miners covered by the survey are male (20-40 years) of employable age seeking to pull out of unemployment and poverty. All the main regions of Sudan constitute a large reservoir of unemployed young people who are willing to migrate to the gold mining areas in spite of the harsh living conditions, and the low earning of between 2-4 USD per day. As the mining areas are remote and located away from the population centers food supplies as well as deficiencies in basic services which adds to the implications. The fact that, traditional gold mining depends on the use of mercury and cyanide in the process of purification make the miners vulnerable to infectious respiratory diseases including cancer. The paper suggests an action plan to promote traditional gold mining to make it more contributive to Sudan’s economy and to the environment by reducing health hazards.

Keywords

gold mining, migration, impoverished workers, mercury, ecological degradation, infectious diseases. 

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