Residents of Ikimo and Ijana in Ijesha land, Osun State have cried out to the Federal and State Governments to urgently intervene and halt continuous mining activities that have been causing environmental degradation in their locality.
Narrating the ordeals that residents of the communities have been going through, Oba Ojo Babatunde Peter, Onikimo of Ikimo Ijesa explained that when mining activities are completed, the already dug portion of the land needed to be covered, but that has not been applicable in mining sites in his community, thereby affecting the community grossly.
Specifically, Oba Ojo explained that mining activity was done on a license (a land already approved for mining by the government) located on the major road linking Idoka, Ikimo, and Ijana, which left a deep pit that has made it difficult for commuters to use the road.
He explained that “in late 2020 up to early 2021, mining activity was done on the major road linking three communities together. When they finished, they didn’t cover the pit that was dug, since then, that road has been bad. Vehicles can not ply the road, people cannot take that route to the farm and it has been extremely horrible for farmers to continue their work, thereby hampering their source of livelihood.
“To our surprise, another company using the approved license of Sandplex International is currently operating under the same license to mine gold. If that gold mining should continue, it would be of extreme danger to the community,” he added.
Buttressing how detrimental the mining activity could be, the royal father mentioned that the mining site is directly beneath a powerline and there shouldn’t be any mining activity in such a location because of the high volatility level.
“The company has channeled water to pass under the powerline, and we know how dangerous this is. It would be worse of they start digging the same portion of land that has been dug previously.
“I am surprised that the government could give approval for mining to take place in such a location. I even reported to the Mining Cadastral Office in Osogbo, an environmental officer came to inspect and said they will look into it but nothing has happened since,” he added.
He appealed to the government to take action to nip the issue on the board.
Also complaining about the mining activities, a resident of a neighbouring community who chose to be anonymous explained that if that particular mining activity should continue, it will affect the high tension transmission line which has a live wire and it will cause a lot of damage.
She noted that some illegal mining had been done previously where an electricity pole was affected and the neighbouring community, Iregun has not had electricity since then.
She also wants the government to take action in the interest of the people, noting that the continuous mining has not been of benefit to the locals.