Environmental problems caused by mining activities in East Africa

Mining is the extraction of natural resources from the earth’s crust for economic use

Environmental problems caused by mining

  • Mining also leads to destruction of land which could have been used for agriculture e.g. by depositing rock debris after rock blasts.



  • Mining also leads to swamp reclamation hence destructing the water cycle e.g. quarrying of clay and sand.
  • Mining also leads to silting of river valleys which causes floods.
  • It leads to destruction of natural beauty by leaving behind large pits.
  • It has led to loss of property through displacement of people near mining areas.
  • Mining is risky it has involved suffocation of miners underground or burying them underground.
  • It has led to neglect of agriculture which leads to outbreak of famine.



  • It leads to soil erosion especially in highland areas where trees are cleared leading to soil infertility.
  • Mining also leads to landslides in highland regions which destroy human property and life.
  • It leads to air pollution during mineral processing especially limestone e.g. at Tororo.
  • Leads to deforestation especially when trees are cut to expose the minerals.
  • Open cast mining leaves behind large depressions/pits which in turn become mosquito breeding grounds.
  • Mining also leads to water pollution which destroys habitats for aquatic animals e.g. copper pyrites are deposited in the wetlands of Lake George and Lake Edward.
  • Mining causes noise pollution because of the explosives used to break rocks e.g. stone quarrying in muyenga.



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