This might not be a well-known fact, but the regions of Somaliland (Awdal) especially the vast mountain regions contain a vast majority of natural resource minerals such as rock, salt, gemstone, natural gas, uranium, gypsum, tin, petroleum, etc. Not only in the north but the whole of Somalia in general has a lot of untapped natural resources, which could be very beneficial to the economy as a whole if we implement ways in which to manage and extract these resources.
But this in turn requires a lot of implementation of the proper procedures and policies, in order to carry this out and for our country to
move into a new era of the use of alternative resources. If not done in the correct way it could lead to damaging effects and further destruction to our lands, environment and communities. A good example is the current situation which occurred in Simodi were the extraction of illegal gold mining occurred by an international company from China.
Mining is a very complicated technique of extracting minerals from rocks. If it’s not carried out in the correct way and if the proper safety and risk management procedures are not implemented, it could cause major disasters to the environment and health risks to the people.
Some of the effects to the environment:
It could cause erosion to the hillsides, rivers and fields
- Loss of biodiversity which can lead to deforestation and loss of lands
- It can contaminate the soil and water systems due to chemicals released from the mining process
- It can disturb the ecosystems and affect the wildlife habitat
- In areas of farming it can affect the land and reduce areas of grazing and crop production.
Effects of the mining facilities:
- The drilling and transportation of the materials can cause air pollution as dust and gases are released
- The chemicals released can cause water pollution which could affect surrounding areas
- The noise from the facilities can disturb wildlife and the communities in the area
- The land, flora and fauna can also be greatly affected
- Also there are many health risks of mining which can lead to cancer and a range of diseases
As you can see mining is not a simple process and the proper precautions have to be taken in order to protect the land. If it’s carried out in the correct way, the mining of the natural mineral resources in our land would be greatly beneficial to our country. And I believe it is time that we invest and turn our attention to the vast resources present in our lands, by developing stronger links with international communities so that we may bring in the good companies and industries which are experts in this field. I believe if a great focus is put on this that our country has a great chance of further improving its rate of development and economy.
By Degan Negheie