Putting small-scale mining in perspective: an analysis of risk perception of a southwestern Nigerian community
Keywords:Environmental impacts, Small-scale mining, Risk management, Residents’ tolerance index, Residents’ agreement index
AbstractAcross the developing world, informal small-scale mining is still growing in popularity, so are its significant socio-environmental burdens to the host communities. The assumption that understanding risk tolerance at small scale of mining is important to recommending effective planning approach, in mitigating its environmental impacts, and in promoting environmentally responsible oversight gave rise to this survey. Quantitative responses from a systematic random sampling of 506 residents of Ijero-Ekiti mining community (southwestern Nigeria) are presented with an emphasis on risk perception and management measures. By ranking 21 variables identified through an extensive literature review, residents’ tolerance index (RTI) and resident agreement index (RAI) are computed. The results suggest that while residents’ risk perception is largely motivated by socio-economic considerations brought about by a major surge in population growth in recent years, there is greater desire for an active public engagement and improved regulatory oversight. The conclusion highlights the value of local capacity building and increased awareness of less risky economic alternatives in successfully implementing long-terms solutions to risks associated with unsustainable mining practice at any scale.
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