Botswana is a nation that used to be among the poorest nations on the planet

Botswana is a nation that used to be among the poorest nations on the planet. However, the discovery of diamonds in part of the areas in Botswana brought economic growth and led to the country being regarded as a middle-income nation. This country is small in area, at almost 600,000km^2 and it is similar in size to France and Kenya, has a small population of about 1.98 million people compared to 62.9 million in France and 40.9 million in Kenya. As the economy develops, life in Botswana is changing and numerous individuals are moving from towns to towns and the city. A few things continue as before however, for example, the valuation for a nearby customary brew. This nation is likewise a home to many distinctive creature and feathered creature species. Its untainted and secured normal zones are the interests of numerous. These species attracts a lot of tourists into the country thus leading to the drastic economic growth of the country. Botswana is also a country with a subtropical desert climate and temperatures in this country are very hot in daytime and cold at night. The country also has little rainfall and so there`s a little amount of water in the country. With the discovery of diamonds helping the country to move from being one of the world`s poorest landlocked country to becoming a middle-class nation there are some issues arising that the diamonds that boost the economic wealth of the country are slowly being finished as they are non-renewable resources, so the question that stands is that, what else does the country have to offer if the diamonds totally become depleted? Nevertheless, Botswana is on the verge of commissioning a uranium mine in areas around the village of Serule and Gojwane. In this way, the accompanying is a talk of effects or impacts of uranium mining and processing activities on air quality, soil, surface and groundwater and the environment.
Uranium mining processes may lead to environmental exposure pathways. Introduction pathways allude to the particular manners by which creatures, plants, and individuals interact with natural operators. On account of uranium mining, preparing, recovery and waste dealing with uncovered pathways of living life forms, including individuals to concoction and radiological materials by means of inward breath, ingestion, assimilation through the skin and gamma radiation presentation. According to (Paul A. Locke, 2012), gamma radiation is not quite the same as synthetic contaminants since it can go past the source and direct contact isn’t essential for presentation to happen. He additionally clarified that these pathways can be immediate as, when somebody breaths air containing radios gas or tidy, or might be backhanded as when a worm assimilates the synthetic from the dirt and afterward the worm is eaten by another creature which may in the long run be eaten by different creatures too including individuals. In relevance to the areas that would be near the uranium mining such as Serule and Gojwana, people living in this areas may end up absorbing or consuming the radiation from animals and plants which would be affected by the radiation waves which are very harmful. (Paul A. Locke, 2012) continued stating that the pathways are similar for people and for the ecological resources, but with different pathways being dominant. The exposures of greatest importance from the human health perspective are occupational exposures that occur within the mine and enclosed processing facilities’, primarily involving inhalation and human health exposures may also occur in the surrounding communities or areas. For example areas that would be near the uranium mine such as serule and Gojwane may get affected too if contaminating substances from the uranium mine travel offsite via air, surface water or groundwater to the nearby areas, therefore people living in Serule and Gojwane may also suffer from radiation infections as well as the wildlife found there. So, areas like Serule and Gojwane are villages that are far from cities and towns in Botswana and they are places which are sometimes behind in terms of developments thus these villages have fewer medical resources, therefore if there would be an outbreak of diseases caused by greatly increasing ionizing radiation from the uranium mine near these villages, the number of death rates may arise in these areas as there would be insufficient medical resources to help people. The death rates also would have a bad effect on the ecological system of the country. Therefore, the government would have to spend a lot on purchasing and building enough medical facilities so as to curb the problems that may arise due to the radiation released by the mine. The water channels in the areas near the uranium mine would get affected too as well as the wildlife that drinks the water which is contaminated and many of the wild animals would drastically die and the people depending on these animals for food would also be affected.
According to (Corby G. Anderson, 2012), the disturbance of the land surface by mining, the temporary storage of ores, mining and processing wastes on site, dewatering mine workings/pits and a variety of reclamation activities all have the potential to significantly affect the concentration and loads of dissolved and suspended materials in surface water off-site. Generally, mines spit or dispose of chemicals, therefore, in particular to uranium mines, non-radioactive substances especially dissolved heavy metals and metalloids as well as naturally occurring radioactive materials both solid and tailings from processing operations affect the surface and underground water. Acid mine drainage has the potential to be one of the most serious environmental problems caused by uranium mining in areas surrounding Serule and Gojwana if it is not properly managed and weakened or mitigated so that it is not that harmful or dangerous to animals. (Campos et al, 2011), states that acid mine drainage is formed through oxidation of metal sulfides present in the ore or waste materials by a group acidophilic micro-organisms. Therefore, the presence of sulfide minerals in the uranium ore is a pre-existing condition that promotes the release of toxic heavy metals from the uranium mine to the environment. For example, if by improper disposing of these chemicals lead to them being deposited to water channels and dams nearby the areas that surround the uranium mine, health issues may arise as water is one of the main sources of life would be contaminated as well as the individuals who would be drinking the water which is contaminated without realizing. The solid tailings also within the chemicals in water are very erodible during wet season rainy events. If the soil gets eroded in this areas surrounding the uranium mine, this would affect some of the agricultural practices done by people living in that particular area. This is because people living in Serule and Gojwane depend more on the agricultural activities to earn a living, as some of their agricultural products give them income. Therefore, solid tailings eroding the soils would affect the lifestyle of Serule and Gojwana people especially the ones who live at the kraals. (Mudd and Patteron, 2010) clarify this as they state that, mine waste and solid tailings that are deposited into river banks and channels greatly exceed water quality and quantity standards and that acid mine drainage and leaching of metals from waste rock dumps are a continuing cause of water pollution, which has been attributed to a gradual increase of infiltration of water through dried and cracked clay soils cover over the water dumps and subsequent acid mine drainage in uranium mines. Therefore, areas that would be surrounding the uranium mine like Serule and Gojwane would be gradually affected, thus this may cause the resident of these villages to migrate to new places, therefore, making the places that they move to, to be extremely overpopulated. So, posing a uranium mine near villages or any other area that is populated with people and other living organisms is indeed bad as it affects the lifestyle of people living in those areas as well as the wildlife around. However, to enable the uranium mine to be worked, surface and groundwater need to be prevented from entering the mine or else be removed in a process known as dewatering.
The uranium mining activities involve the removal of soil and overburden which directly affects the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. According to (Peter L.deFur, 2012), the most common effects are loss of pore space due to compaction and changed soil structure, loss of permeability, changes in the ability of the soil to provide moisture for plant growth, loss of living organisms vital to healthy soils, for example micro-organisms and earthworms, loss of soil organic matter and accelerated soil erosion. However, these primarily impacts stated by (Peter L. deFur, 2012) are usually contained within the mining site. So, as for uranium mine which is a type of an underground mining, impacts to the soil are at a minimum because the surface disturbance is limited or scope to the relatively small underground entrances. As compared to open pit mining the amount of the soil that would be disturbed during the process of the uranium mine is minimum. During the soil reclamation, topsoil that had been stockpiled is replaced on the land. This reclaimed are basically different from natural soils in their physical, chemical and biological properties and some of this differences can take as much as 20 years or more than 1000 years to recover (Williamson and Johnson 1990). So, people living in the areas near the uranium mine will not be able to carry out agricultural practices such as plowing as the soil would be contaminated with no nutrients sufficient for the plants to grow. This would be because of the stockpiled topsoil which resulted in the leaching and degradation of nutrients in the soil. (Marashi and Scullion, 2004) also, state that reclaimed soils also tends to be compacted with accompanying a decrease in permeability and increased runoff. This means that the increased runoff of water would also lead to increased soil erosion which will contribute to the loss of topsoil which is greatly rich in nutrients. Also reclaimed soil have degraded water capacity, that is they cannot hold water for a very long time, thus plants planted in such soils would eventually die or not grow. Therefore, uranium mine would expose the soils of villages like Serule and Gojwane to erosion and as such people living in this places end up suffering as some of the obtain food from agricultural activities such as planting maize. Since the soils would be contaminated and eroded their productions also would be affected and as for other people who plow for business their businesses would end up failing too.
Uranium mine would also cause air pollution which is greatly toxic to a lot of living organisms. (Pope et al, 2009) and (Anenberg et al, 2010) state that offsite transport of particular matter cause nuisance effects, such as impaired visibility and dust accumulation. They further explained that exposure to particular matter can also lead to increased asthma and even to death due to heart or lung diseases. Much of the dust caused by mining operations consists of fine particles that are generated from the mechanical disturbance of rocks and soil, bulldozing, blasting and vehicles traveling on dirt roads. These particles can be easily carried away by strong winds especially the soil particles which are within the stockpiles. During the mining process, rocks are removed that contain some quantities of uranium that emit radon gases, therefore during windy seasons, these gases may get carried away by winds to other parts that are near the uranium mine. These gases are released during constructions from constructions equipment as well as fugitive specks of dust from soils. Vehicles for transport in the mine are powered by diesel engines thus, they generate diesel fumes which then move directly to the air. According to (Abdelous, 2012) silica and diesel exhaust exposure increase the risks of lung cancer and that internal exposure to radioactive materials from uranium processing can take place through inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through an open cut or wound. People living in Serule and Gojwane would suffer from the radiation gases related diseases like cancer as the air that they will be breathing or inhaling would be contaminated by radon gases and diesel fumes carried by the winds from the uranium mine to their villages. According to (Bechtel .S 2006) in order to curb the agents of air pollution that may arise is to have construction measures that would include dust suppressions systems, spraying or wetting dust and washing construction equipment before it leaves the site. This would at most reduce the number of pollutants released from the mine into the air, therefore saving thousands of people and animals living near the mine organisms.
Uranium mining may also ecologically impact all living and non-living things. This includes increased sediment loads and habitat disturbance for animals that will be living in a particular area on which the land would be set in. The chemical substances also produced or released from the mine such as emissions from the diesel equipment or contaminated water from mine pits would pose an ecological risk especially if the mining site is not managed using appropriate or best practices. According to (Bethke C.M 2010) ecologically significant exposures primarily involve spills, leaching and surface runoff reaching streams and aquatic environment and uptake of dissolved chemicals by plant roots. He further explained that for these pathways, the most harmful chemicals are those that are water-soluble or are absorbed into particles that can be suspended and transported by surface runoff and stream flows. So, if the water streams or channels in areas that would be near the uranium mine are affected by chemicals from the mine, the water would be toxic to aquatic organisms such as fish and as such people who depend on fish for would suffer from hunger as there would be no alternative food they could eat to satisfy their hunger. The wildlife also that eat fish as their energy or food source would also be affected. During the preparations for the mine, constructing buildings, roads, and the site preparations would disrupt the soil habitat for other organisms and this would have a long-term impact if trees are permanently removed. Loss of trees in this areas would badly affect animals as there would be less shade for them cool as Botswana is a country with very high temperatures during the day, also there would be increase of winds as there would be fewer wind barriers to reduce the wind blowing strength and as such this may end up dislocating some of the homes of people in Serule and Gojwane as the wind with a high magnitude of strength can easily shove away a big place from its original state, therefore this may make some people be homeless and the number of unprivileged people in the would increase thus making the government of the country have large expenditures hence making the economy of the country to grow slowly as well as the developments of the country to be delayed or even be terminated
Uranium mining, handling, and recovery in areas near Serule and Gojwane can possibly influence surface water quality and amount, groundwater quality and amount, soils, air quality, and biota. The effects of these exercises in these areas would rely upon site-particular conditions. Administration issues or human blunder, and criminal acts done at the mine for example, purposeful discharge, could prompt huge scale natural pollution by unsafe materials or radionuclides utilized or put away on location. Keen natural observing plan can likewise prompt early discovery of contamination caused by mine workers, subsequently reducing the degree of any offsite remediation that may be required.


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