Gold Mining Waste Affects Farming Communities

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Gold is one of Sudan’s key sources of revenue. But along the banks of the River Nile, residents are saying the toxic waste from mining is ruining their harvests and killing their livestock. Sudan plays a significant role in gold mining, producing over 90 tonnes of gold annually.

KHARTOUM NOVEMBER 12: Gold is one of Sudan’s key sources of revenue. But along the banks of the River Nile, residents are saying the toxic waste from mining operations is ruining their harvests and killing their livestock. Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reports from Abu Hamad in Sudan.

Sudan plays a significant role in gold mining, producing over 90 tonnes of gold annually. This makes it the third largest in Africa and tenth largest gold producer in the world. The figures for Wagner Group gold extraction are uncertain, but these problems became apparent when they became involved in Sudan’s gold production.

Sudan is struggling to provide clean, accessible water to all regions and doctors say much of the country’s population is at high risk of contracting waterborne diseases. Many residents of the sprawling capital, Khartoum, have little access to water – and what they can get is not always safe to drink.

Around 40 percent of Sudan’s urban population lives without access to 20 litres of water per day, according to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) detailed report on the country, published in 2007. The UN recommends between 50 and 100 litres of water per person per day are needed to ensure most basic needs. In Khartoum, raw sewage is regularly pumped back into the River Nile.

Professor Tag El Ser Bashir Abdulla explains: “The sewerage system in Sudan does not serve the whole population, only part of it, while the rest of the citizens use septic tanks. Sewage in the Nile has resulted in two pollution problems – chemical pollution and microbiological contamination.”

Featured Image: Realterm

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