Gold panning threatens food security in southwestern Burkina Faso


Gold panning threatens food security in southwestern Burkina Faso

Gaoua, August 14, 2021 (AIB) – Gold mining threatens food security in southwestern Burkina Faso, in particular through the reduction of arable land and labor, pollution and deforestation, has alarmed the Southwest Regional Food Security Council on Friday.

La région du sud-ouest, selon l’Institut national de la statistique et de la démographie (INSD), regorgeait en 2017, 61 sites d’orpaillage. La majorité de ces exploitations sont dans l’informel, ce qui impact négativement les activités agro-sylvo-pastorales et menace la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle dans la région.

C’est pourquoi le Conseil régional de sécurité alimentaire (CRSA) a tenu son Assemblée générale, le vendredi 13 août 2021 à Gaoua, sur le thème «Orpaillage et activités agro-sylvo-pastorales : quelles stratégies pour une amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle dans la région du sud-ouest ».

1- The representative of the governor of the southwest region, Aboubakar Traoré (middle): « This is an opportunity for us to discuss frankly and without taboos, all the food and nutritional security problems for our region ».

Souleymane Yoda, member of the technical committee, presented the different impacts of artisanal gold mining on agricultural and pastoral activities. He noted the deforestation, soil degradation and environmental pollution which affect the environment.

Also, there is the pollution of the pasture, the poisoning by chemicals, the reduction of grazing areas and the labor force which are detrimental effects for the pastoral activity.

On the agricultural front, Souleymane Yoda underlined, among other things, the reduction of potential production areas and the abandonment of agriculture in favor of gold panning.

Faced with this state of affairs, the technical committee proposed a strategy based on five axes to improve food security.

The secretary general of the southwestern region, Aboubakar Traoré, representing the governor, recalled that the main mission of the Regional Food Security Council is to fuel reflection on food security issues in the region.

As such, he said, this body promotes dialogue between actors in the area of ​​food and nutritional security with a view to creating a synergy of actions.

The general assembly made recommendations for improving food security in the southwest region.

“This session is part of the revitalization of these regional council bodies. While seeking a good start, it should also instill new dynamism through sustained reflection that can lead to adequate solutions to the bottlenecks linked to the functioning of the CRSA ”, argued Aboubakar Traoré.

During the work, the participants formulated recommendations aimed at improving food security in the region. This involves carrying out a study on the impact of gold panning on agro-sylvo-pastoral activities, advocating with communities and the ministry in charge of mines in order to devote part of the Mining Fund to the development of agro-sylvo-pastoral activities. The assembly also recommended accelerating the process of formalizing artisanal gold mining in the region.

Burkina news agency

Joseph HARO

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