The Impact of Diamond Mining on the Environment
As in the case of other minerals, observers commonly link mining of diamonds with damage to the environment and Sierra Leone is apparently under this influence. In this case, the most perceivable evidence of the extraction process is the overall destructive impact on the environment. This research examined the environmental impacts of the diamond mining practices of the Tonguma Limited Project (TLP), located at Tongo Field. The process investigated five communities within the Nyawa Section of Lower Bambara Chiefdom, using a sample of 75 and in a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings revealed-on the negative side-that physical and chemical outputs of the mines have resulted in the following: minimizing and rendering farmland unfit for crop production, contaminating groundwater, drying up water wells, cracking the walls of dwelling houses and yielding noise pollution of an apparently dangerous level. By visible extension, the impacts of the mining include health problems such as occupational injuries, malaria, and diarrhea. On the positive side, the mines employ community members; it repairs damaged buildings and finances some community development projects. It has been recommended that the company establish its environmental management unit/department in the mining area to ensure that the environmental effects of mining activities in the area are reduced to the barest minimum.
Hadji DS Kallon