The Federal Government, has moved to rescue contaminated water source caused by gold mining activities in a village called Kutasa in Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this during a meeting with the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Muhammad Bello, over the issue.
Adamu said all is being done to ensure residents of the community and FCT generally is to protect groundwater contamination resulting from mining activities and safeguarding health of the people.
According to him the meeting was a follow up to a video trending on various social media platforms decrying gold mining operations in Kutasa, which has lead to contamination to the water source for the area.
The Minister also said reports on mining activities in the area, made him to tell the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC) to visit Kutasa community, and carry out investigation.
According to the Minister the investigation revealed that gold mining activities were ongoing in Kutasa, which the report indicated a red flag to the activities, and ordered a stop to the activities, and would not allow Niger State led poison experience to happen in FCT.
Those at the meeting include Executive Director (NIWRMC) Engr. Magashi Umar Bashir, Permanent Secretary of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Executive Secretary FCDA, Directors of the Ministry, and Directors from FCTA.
He said, “The meeting was therefore to articulate strategies aimed at ending the negative activities of mining in Abuja as well as in Nigeria as a whole. It will also afford the Ministers a good opportunity to harmonize their positions before further meeting with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello, said the mining company allegedly operating in Kutasa community had no permit granting a mining lease to mine gold in the community, which Bello decried operation of the company because it was against the existing Mining Act.
However, the Minister frowned at human activities that have polluted a relaxation spot, Jabi Lake, traceable to population growth around the area.
He also lamented that Usuma Dam is equally experiencing debris inflow as a result of increased human activities, which he called for proactive measures to save the two water bodies.
The two ministers agreed to have same working document before meeting with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development on the matter.
The FCT landlord also acknowledged his Water Resources counterpart for the Inter Basin Water transfer from Gurara Dam in Niger State to Lower Usuma Dam in FCT, and for carrying out Executive Order 009 to end Open Defecation in the country.
He also assured that FCT administration will ensure that the programme to end Open Defecation in Nigeria is successful in Abuja, and disclosed that construction of public toilets will soon kick-off in all public facilities in FCT.
By Ebikiseiye Thompson