A sit-in in Abu Hamad, Nile State, demanding the expulsion of mining companies from the El Fida region, continued for the sixth day yesterday.
Activist and member of the sit-in committee, Osman Ali Jibril, told the Voice of the States program on Radio Dabanga on Sunday that the sit-in will continue until all mining companies working in the area ceased their activities.
Activists have called on the Nile State government and El Fida’s police and intelligence services to stop all mining activities. He said they are only two or three kilometers from populated areas, which violates national and international laws.
Jibril said they have reported cases of kidney failure, cancer, epilepsy and miscarriages to El Manaseer authorities, but have yet to respond.
Materials used in traditional gold mining, such as cyanide, have also killed a number of animals in the area. Pollution caused by the use of cyanide and mercury in gold mining “poses the biggest and most dangerous threat to the country’s environment”, says a Sudanese environmental protection expert. environment at Radio Dabanga in 2017.
In the past, residents of villages adjacent to El Fida have burned down the offices of gold mining companies in El Shareek due to failure to meet their demands, Jibril reported.
He called on the authorities to respond to their requests so that the populations benefit from an uncontaminated environment.
He called on all government agencies and international organizations to keep gold mining companies away from the El Fida region.
According to France 24, Sudan was the second largest gold producer in Africa and the ninth largest in the world in 2018. Production is however driven by unregulated artisanal (individual subsistence) mining: More than 1.5 million men who put their lives at risk to dig and extract the precious metal. And to their dismay, the government in Khartoum is pushing to attract foreign investors and introduce more industrialized methods.