Drought contributing to artisanal mining wars

Climate change-induced drought has been described as one of the contributors of increased conflict in the artisanal mining sector in Bubi District.

Participants at a Habakkuk Trust organized District indaba on natural resources yesterday said climate change has disrupted sources of livelihoods in communities that are largely dependent on subsistence farming resulting in many turning to mining activities as a means of income generation.

Successive dry spells have significantly reduced crop yields and claimed the deaths of many livestock thus plunging communities into vulnerability. The situation has forced some villagers into some illicit gold mining activities as a source of income in a sector that is often marred by violent conflict.

“If the hunger situation does not improve, we will continue losing our children to the violent goldfields where many are trying to eke a living,” One participant said.

Faced with the pressure to provide for families, males are involved in violent conflicts in a scramble for the precious mineral. Bubi is an artisanal mining conflict hotspot that is characterized by clashes between locals and rivalry gangs.

Some, according to Bubi Rural District Council allegedly own hammer mills and processing centres in their homes contrary to the council laws. They, however, indicated that they will soon revisit their land allocation and land use register to unravel where these illicit mining activities are happening.

Habakkuk Trust created a platform for stakeholders and the community to discuss how local resources can significantly benefit the district.

Source: Habakkuk Trust

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