Six Liberian environmental scientists and technicians from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Mine and Energy have completed a two-week intensive international training on mine water and mine waste management in Zambia, and Salaam Tanzania.
The training which ran from 20th September 2022 to 2nd-October, 2022 was jointly hosted by the Swedish Geological Survey, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Lulea Tekniska University.
The forum which attracted technicians and environmental scientists from Liberia, Zambia, Kenya Tanzania, and Rwanda was intended to boost efforts aimed at ensuring natural resources governance and sustainable mining in Africa.
The training considered several topics including mining and sustainability, governance within the extractive Industries, legislation and gender issues in mining, biodiversity, environment, and human rights.
Other topics considered were characterization, sampling, geospatial analysis, geochemistry, and acid mine drainage, geotechnics, tailings storage facility design and management, mine closure and cost evaluation, and artisanal small-scale mining.
EPA Manager for Compliance and Enforcement, John K Jallah, who is one of the three staff that represented the EPA said “By leveraging on the knowledge gained, respective countries presented proposals for a “Change Project” to be endorsed and supported by relevant local authorities in each country to help contribute to tackling some of the problems confronting the Mining sector.
Mr. Jallah noted that Liberia is expected to develop an “Environmental Stewardship Minimum Benchmark Toolkit” that focuses on providing awareness, education, and smart techniques relative to Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) in Liberia.
According to him, the lead institutions of government cardinal to ensuring the effectiveness of this project are the Ministry of Mines & Energy, and the EPA who will be engaged prior to the project kick starting.
“Additionally, the knowledge gained, and vast resource materials acquired, will also be tailored towards impacting each institution’s regulatory regimes, Mr. Jallah indicated.
He explained that the team is also expected to engage with media outlets civil society organizations and other sector actors to ensure the objective of this project is met, to pave the way for a more desirable outcome that benefits to government and the lives of those whose livelihood are heavily reliant on ASM operations.