A new publication by members of the HIA4SD project team around the lead author Dr. Andrea Leuenberger sheds light on the increasing health inequities in mining settings.
Dr. Andrea Leuenberger and the local study teams consulted 791 community members from ten mining sites in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania. In the perception of community members, negative impacts prevailed. Positive impacts were scarce and claimed to be unequally distributed between population groups. In addition to water, soil and air pollution, our findings suggest an aggravation of financial conditions of community members. These negative impacts resulted in poor health conditions according to the study participants. The consistency of these perceived health inequities from the East and West African countries indicates a pressing need to manage health impacts of industrial mining more strategically and address the communities’ needs adequately. “Although the mining industry increasingly commits to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our findings show that substantial efforts are needed to put its overarching credo to ‘leave no one behind’ into practice”, says Dr. Andrea Leuenberger. “One approach to close the identified health equity gaps would be to include a strong equity and community participation component in health impact assessment practice.”