Basil queries safety of Watut River

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, December 29, 2010

 BULOLO MP Sam Basil has criticised the Department of Environment and Conservation for failing to properly regulate the mining industry and ensure its operations are environmentally safe.

“The department has a responsibility to ensure mining operations are safe and will not damage the environment,” he said in a media statement yesterday. 

He had recently filed legal proceedings against the Hidden Valley mine in his constituency over the pollution of the Watut River.

“It is not good enough for Environment and Conservation Minister Benny Allan to say his department had received an environmental audit report on the Hidden Valley mine and will work on an improvement plan.” 

Basil said if the minister was serious about re-inventing another environmental improvement plan, then, the mine should be shut and a complete river rehabilitation option must be his priority.

He said if Allan’s sponsored audit report said the river was safe, then he should drink a litre of water collected from the Watut River in front of the people.