Lead (Pb) Mining in Ebonyi State, Nigeria: Implications for Environmental And Human Health Risk. (Published)
Recent cases of lead (Pb) poisoning in Nigeria which has claimed the lives of over 500 children has been traced to mining. Forty soil samples were collected from the vicinity of four mining sites (A – D) scattered across the three senatorial zones of the state. These samples were sieved to <125 µm particle size fractions and digested using hotplate. Lead levels in these samples were determined using Flame atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (FAAS). The results revealed that the mean concentration of Site A was 7177 mg/kg, Site B = 5051 mg/kg, Site C = 3198 mg/kg and Site D = 7881 mg/kg. These values were compared with soil guideline values (SGVs) from six countries and they were all in excess of the SGVs. It is to be noted that when Pb levels exceed SGVs, it signifies a level of risk to man and his environment.
The concept of green supply chain management (GSCM) is attaining high level significance given that it can help to minimize negative impact of mining activities on the environment and to ensure environmental sustainability. This research was carried out primarily to examine the factors influencing green supply chain management in the mining industry of Ghana. Data was collected using focus group discussion with the experts from the mining companies. Analysis of the data showed that the goods purchased by mining companies have negative effects on the environment. It was also concluded that procurement practices could be used to reduce the negative impacts of the companies’ operation on the environment since the procurement departments of the companies have specific policies geared towards environmentally preferable purchases. The study further established that green procurement influence supplier selection through environmental regulations by Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, suppliers’ environmental emission among others. The study revealed that the most notable factors influencing green supply chain in the mining companies in Ghana include lack of knowledge and expertise involving green supply chain, lack of awareness of the potential economic benefits of green supply chain, lack of political commitment, lack of the learning capacity to evaluate green supply chain; high cost of environmental programs, ineffective sanction regime for environmental offenders among others. The study recommends that mining companies and its allies should organise joint seminars and workshops to sensitize the staff and suppliers on the benefits of green purchasing and the need to embrace it. The mining industry and EPA should also link up to train their supply/logistics/procurement practitioners on the issues of green procurement /supply chain.