African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1022

Full Length Research Paper

Impact of mining on environment: A case study of Taita Taveta County, Kenya

Irene Wakio Mwakesi
  • Irene Wakio Mwakesi
  • Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI), College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053-00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Raphael Githiga Wahome
  • Raphael Githiga Wahome
  • Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Daniel Weru Ichang’i
  • Daniel Weru Ichang’i
  • Department of Geology, College of Biological and Physical Sciences University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 28 September 2020
  •  Accepted: 13 May 2021
  •  Published: 31 May 2021

Abstract

Research on the impacts of mining on the environment was conducted on nine purposive selected mining sites in Kamtonga and Mkuki, Taita Taveta County, Kenya. The FOLCHI method was adopted to quantify the environmental impact of mining activities in gemstone mining sites. The affected environment surrounding the pits was broken down into three components such as Topography, Vegetation and Air. The effect of the three components impacting factors, both directly and indirectly, from the mining activities was then calculated for each Environmental Component and computed averages (magnitude) presented in table format. The findings showed that mining activities contributed to environmental and landscape changes, leading to loss of indigenous-trees, shrubs, grassland, forests, natural ecosystems and agricultural and grazing land. Mining activities contributed to air pollution. Even with the existence of environmental regulations and policies, the environment is still abused in Kenya, as a result, the country has lost considerable amount of forest cover due to mining activities. Government and non-governmental organizations should advocate for afforestation, re-afforestation and restoration of forests. Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Audit should be conducted in line with mining regulations in Environmental Management and Coordination act 1999 (amended 2019) in Kenya.

 

Key words: Mining activities, environmental elements, waste piles, sustainable livelihoods, air pollution, forest restoration.