Assessing environmental impacts of inland sand mining in parts of Ogun State, Nigeria
Sand is a valuable resource for construction and other purposes, however sand mining often result in serious environmental problems such as land degradation, loss of agricultural lands and biodiversity, as well increased poverty among people. This study assessed the environmental impacts of inland sand mining in six selected local government areas of Ogun state, Nigeria. Twenty-seven (27) inland sand mining sites were identified, fourteen (14) of which are currently active mining sites while thirteen (13) are abandoned. The geographic location and attributes sites were captured for a spatial analysis using Geographic Information System (GIS). The sites were mapped and classified based on the severity of the damage to the ecological system. The study revealed that three of the local governments areas i.e. Abeokuta South, Ifo, Obafemi/Owode and Ado-Odo/Ota have inland sand mining sites with severe degradation, while Sagamu and Ewekoro local governments areas have inland sand mining sites that can be regarded as moderately and less degraded respectively. The intensive urban and industrial developments around these areas contributed enormously to the increased demand of sand for building and construction. Natural resources particularly, land, water quality and quantity, air quality, are the most significant impacts. Other impacts include loss of farmland, depreciation of land value, and destruction of infrastructural facilities. The study concluded that sand mining should be subject to planning and other controls in order to curtail its negative impacts.
Keywords: Urbanization, Housing, GIS, Land degradation, Sand mining, Pollution