The Osun State Government has warned miners operating in the state to desist from the improper excavation of mining sites and ensure they treat water from their excavations before releasing it into the Osun River.
The warning was handed down by the Special Adviser to Governor Ademola Adeleke on Solid Minerals and Environment, Prof. Lukmon Jimoda.
Prof Jimoda spoke at the flag-off of the reclamation of the Osun River at Idominasi town as part of activities lined up to commemorate the year 2023 World Environment Day.
Representing the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Sanitation, Oladele Olawuni, Jimoda stressed that the activities of the miners had made it important for the State Government to look into ways to make the water safe for use.
“The State Government has observed that the activities of miners have continued to have adverse effects on some tributaries that run into the Osun River, thereby making it necessary for the renewing of Osun River.
“We admonish miners to always follow the procedures for mining to make the communities around the excavation sites safe for living.
“We will continue to monitor them and any miner found to have gone against the rules and regulations set for them will be fined, sanctioned and if possible, get his or her contract terminated,” he warned.
Olawuni also emphasised that apart from flagging off, the team also made it a point of duty to sensitise the miners at the excavation sites visited to always cover sites that have been dug, as well as treat the water from excavation sites with necessary chemicals before releasing it into the Osun River.
The Director, Environmental Health, Ministry of Environment and Sanitation, Biola Oni maintained that the reclamation of the Osun River is the best way to start the year’s World Environment Day.
Oni said the State Government, having been aware of the danger caused by the activities of miners, is ready and keen on bringing back the Osun River to its actual state.
He revealed that the state government has given a contract to the consultant who has started blocking all the tributaries being created by the miners through the use of alluvial bars, making it safe for the people in the state.
An expert, Shamsudeen Newton Alabi on his part, advised the miners to do their work by applying global best practices.