Ushemegbe Rita Ekhareafo

Ushemegbe Rita Ekhareafo

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Ushemegbe Rita Ekhareafo

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Start Year

2021 (Cohort 8)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Environmental Assessment of Chemical Contamination from Abandoned Coal and Mineral Mines: A multidisciplinary approach

Research Theme

Environmental Hazards and Pollution

Primary Supervisor
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Secondary Supervisor
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Abandoned mines pose serious risks to the environment, through the release of pollutants on land rivers, and air. Thus, harming plants, aquatic organisms, other animals and human health in areas of high pollution. In Nigeria, over 1200 abandoned mine lands (AMLs) have been identified. To date, only a few have been reclaimed due to the high costs. Many non-reclaimed AMLs have pond waters that are being used for irrigation, fishing, domestic and industrial purposes exposing humans to risk of significant harm. The project aims to develop an integrated impact assessment methodology for chemical contamination emanating from abandoned coal and mineral mines. The case of Nigeria will inform this work by identifying and quantifying the chemical contaminants, with a focus on the interactions that exist between the different media around the mines to ascertain the extent, fate, mobility and impacts of the contaminants on receptors by accounting for the risk of exposure to multiple pollutants via multiple sources. A multidisciplinary approach involving geological, geochemical, hydrological, and biological analysis would be employed in this study. The outcome would be used to develop policy recommendations for decision makers on long-term site management and mine closure with environmental regards to protection of the environment and humans depending on it.

Policy Impact
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