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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 4 NO 2, DECEMBER, 2006

TRADITIONAL MINING, POVERTY AND ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF KEANA SALT MINING SITES IN NASARAWA STATE

ANGBAS JONATHAN AVRE
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS
NASARAWA STATE UNIVERSITY, KEFFI NIGERIA

ABSTRACT
The challenges of fighting poverty in the 21st century are quite enormous given the fact that efforts so far put in place towards reducing the scourge of poverty especially among the rural poor seem to be yielding very little positive results. This is why the greater majority of the world’s population still lives on less than $1 a day according to the United Nations. This index has been taken to define the minimum income necessary to sustain human life on the basis of which nations of the world are classified either rich or poor. Below this level, there is the prevalence of poverty. The most vulnerable group of this poor are women, children, and the disabled. The World Bank asserts that there is no region of the world where men and women have equal social, economic and legal rights either on account of cultural practices or for political and religious reasons. This then means that women are exposed much more to the incidence of poverty because they are disadvantaged and this has implications for the larger society and resource management. This study evaluates the impact of traditional salt mining activities amongst rural women on the incidence of poverty and its effects on the environment in Keana local government area of Nasarawa state. It discovers that though the industry has the potential of reducing poverty through enhanced income and employment generation, the use of primitive methods of mining, lack of access to financial resources by these local miners as well as some mundane beliefs and restrictions have effectively hindered this. The study therefore recommends that deliberate policy prescription that allow access to such modern methods of mining and financial resources be pursed if any meaningful progress is to be made on the fight against poverty.

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