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Kwara Community Where Residents Blame Chinese Mining Company For Cracks In Houses, Deafness In Farmed Animals, Others

Kaidi Mining Site


Kwara Community Where Residents Blame Chinese Mining Company For Cracks In Houses, Deafness In Farmed Animals, Others

Dealing with such a powerful quarry company is beyond us. They have resources and connections they use to suppress us.

In a quiet corner of Kwara State, Nigeria, a battle was quietly brewing between a mining company and a small community known as Orogbangba. At the heart of this dispute were allegations of environmental damage, property destruction, and health hazards caused by the mining company’s rock blasting operations. The story that unfolds is one of struggle, resilience, and a quest for justice.

However, tranquillity turned to turmoil when a Chinese mining company set its sights on the hills of Eiyekorin, Asa local government, to extract valuable resources from the earth.

Afrika Eyes, a dedicated investigative journalism team, embarked on a journey to unearth the truth behind the allegations against the Chinese mining company, shining a glaring spotlight on the turmoil and injustice that had besieged the community.

Unearthing the Crisis

Mining operations, particularly blasting, inherently carried danger. Explosions resonated through the hills, sending tremors of anxiety across Orogbangba. The villagers could no longer ignore the quaking earth and the creeping cracks that crawled through their homes. Fear took hold of their hearts as they watched their dwellings crumble piece by piece.

Alarmed by their plight, the Orogbangba community reached out to the Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency (KWEPA) for assistance. The agency’s mandate was clear: safeguard both the environment and the people within its purview. It was time to scrutinize the practices of the Chinese mining company.

 A Reckless Operation Unveiled

Equipment Room Sealed

Equipment Room Sealed

KWEPA swung into action, meticulously inspecting the Kaidi Quarry site. What they uncovered was deeply troubling. Safety violations ran rampant, and the lives of the workers hung in the balance. Crucial safety equipment was conspicuously absent, leaving the workforce vulnerable to the inherent dangers of the quarry. The company’s training programs were shockingly inadequate, and the safety measures in place were, at best, insufficient. The findings left no room for doubt – the Chinese company was operating recklessly, imperilling the lives of its workers.

Armed with this evidence, KWEPA took swift action, sealing off the Kaidi Quarry site. The message was unequivocal: no one could endanger lives and the environment with impunity. The Chinese company was held accountable for its actions and was mandated to rectify the safety breaches, invest in proper worker training, and implement stringent safety measures.

The Unaddressed Concerns

Amid the applause for KWEPA’s decisive action, a disconcerting oversight loomed. The Orogbangba community’s fears of their homes collapsing during the blasting had gone unaddressed. It appeared that while the government agency had acted to protect quarry workers, the safety and well-being of the villagers had been overshadowed.

This oversight was a bitter pill for Orogbangba to swallow. They had lived on the edge, their lives disrupted and their homes imperilled, yet their pleas had fallen on deaf ears. It was a stark reminder of the power imbalance between multinational corporations and local communities.

The Community’s Resilience

As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, the Orogbangba community rallied. They organized protests and demanded their voices be heard. Their tenacity began to garner national and international attention.

Afrika Eyes learned that the pressure mounted, and the Kwara state government could no longer ignore their plight. A comprehensive safety assessment of the entire area was conducted, involving experts in geology, construction, and mining. It was revealed that the blasting at the Kaidi Quarry site had indeed caused structural damage to several homes in Orogbangba.

 Seeking Resolution

Mr Solihu

Mr Solihu

In response, the government collaborated with the Chinese company to compensate affected villagers and provide them with safer housing alternatives. The quarry’s blasting schedule was adjusted to minimize its impact on the community. A community liaison committee was established to ensure that Orogbangba’s concerns were addressed in future mining activities.

However, allegations against the company began to surface, suggesting that some members of the mining company had conducted their investigation in the Orogbangba community.

Mr. Adebayo Solihu, a spokesperson for the mining company, expressed concerns regarding the allegations against the company. He revealed that an internal team from the mining company had conducted an investigation in the Orogbangba community.

He emphasized the presence of two neighbouring communities: the host community, Eiyekorin, located within 300 meters of the quarry, and a neighbouring community situated approximately 1.40 kilometres away from the mining site.

“When we initially heard about the issues raised, we believed it was crucial to conduct our own investigation. Ultimately, we discovered that many of the structural issues in the houses were not solely due to our blasting activities but were influenced by other factors,” Mr Solihu stated.

He continued, “We considered that if the Orogbangba community was experiencing significant adverse effects, the nearby host community, Eiyekorin, would likely be impacted even more. Surprisingly, we found that the host community had not reported any significant problems in comparison to the Orogbangba community.

Mr Solihu further elaborated, “Upon inspecting the houses, we realized that most of the damage was attributed to construction errors and the region’s propensity for water-related issues. Initially, these problems were attributed to blasting, but our findings and reports indicated otherwise.”

Regarding the intervention of the state’s environmental protection agency, KWEPA, Mr. Solihu explained that they arrived at the mining site without written documents but with specific directives and actions. This unexpected visit led to the temporary closure of the company while they sought to understand the alleged environmental offences.

“When KWEPA arrived, they sealed the gate. We promptly provided them with our environmental certificate and environmental audit documents, including medical certificates for our workers. However, it became evident that there were still unresolved complaints from the community regarding alleged environmental damage,” Mr Solihu said.

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To justify the distance of the complaining community from the quarry, he pointed out that the quarry site belonged to Balogun Alanamu Family, who was associated with the host community, Eiyekorin.

Mr Solihu shared the challenges faced by the company during the shutdown, explaining, “The company was shut down for four days, and during this time, Chinese nationals working at the site could not leave because all vehicles were locked inside. This impacted their ability to procure essential supplies.”

He went on to describe the company’s interactions with KWEPA, saying, “When we met with KWEPA, they advised us to engage with the Orogbangba community to reach a settlement before the company could be allowed to resume operations. Their primary concern was the well-being of the community, so we coordinated with the environmental agency to conduct an investigation.”

Mr Solihu concluded by clarifying the nature of the directives received after Orogbangba’s complaints, stating, “Following Orogbangba’s complaints, the only official directive we received was to halt drilling and blasting activities. No other directives were issued, and operations like selling were not halted. We have since complied with the state ministry’s directive, and drilling and blasting have ceased, while other operations continue as usual.”


Mining Site

Mr Solihu accompanied the Afrika Eyes correspondent team to their safety room where they stored their equipment. It’s noteworthy that the room had been sealed by the Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency (KWEPA).

The environmental agency had taken action to restrict access to or secure the equipment room, potentially as part of their response to concerns about the quarry company’s operations and their impact on the community.

How Orogbangba Community Want Us To Shut down 

When the Orogbangba community first began submitting their petitions, their primary aim was to halt all operations in our area, as they believed our activities were causing them significant harm, and some even wished for our complete cessation.

However, thanks to increased efforts from our management, including the involvement of the royal chief, Balogun Alanamu, we are gradually working towards a compensation plan. Even though our operations continue, we understand the need to compensate for any damages we may have caused. It’s essential to bring about peace between the community and our company.


Kaidi Quarry Company

While we are uncertain about who is instigating the community’s actions, we are aware of a neighbouring quarry along the Bala axis that serves as our competitor. It was when this neighbouring quarry began its operations that we noticed the community’s sudden mobilization to have a national broadcast station cover their protest. This seemed unusual, as there had been no prior complaints to our mining company regarding the issues they raised.

We conducted a thorough review of our records to see if the Orogbangba community had lodged any previous complaints, but we found no evidence of such complaints.

However, we learned that certain individuals were sponsoring the community’s grievances, likely because our operations were affecting the profitability of powerful companies in the state. These sponsors were using the neighbouring community against us.

It is important to note that nobody has previously approached us for compensation, and we have never denied such requests. Even in the case of our host community, Eiyekorin, if issues arise, we always meet with the community leaders to resolve them, including compensation when necessary.

When the Orogbangba community approached us, they initially demanded a complete shutdown of our operations. However, after discussions, we expressed our willingness to consider compensation within the limits of our company’s capabilities.

Regarding the allegations of pregnant women miscarrying and animals dying due to rock blasting, we believe these claims are greatly exaggerated and manipulated for effect. The only real issue we identified was physical damage to some of their houses. While we acknowledge some cracks were present, it’s essential to note that most of these houses had construction errors.

Subsequently, after our visit to the community to investigate their claims, they escalated their protest and took legal action against our company.

“We expect the government to conduct a comprehensive review of this situation, recognizing that for a state to develop, it requires investors. Negative impacts of industries are inevitable, but the government should assess how these impacts affect the community.”

If the community’s grievances are genuine, the government should take appropriate legal measures rather than resorting to hearsay or public opinion. The community should present their demands transparently, and the government should ensure that we can continue our operations as long as we adhere to the government’s regulations.

A Year Away from Home Due to Rock-Blasting Effects

Mrs Fatimah,

Mrs FatimahMrs Fatimah, a resident whose house bore the brunt of intense rock blasting, shared her distressing experience with an Afrika Eyes correspondent. She walked the correspondent through her damaged home, revealing the havoc wrought by the mining company’s operations.

Mrs Fatimah’s ordeal mirrored that of her neighbours, many of whom had abandoned their homes and relocated to the city due to the detrimental impact of the incessant blasting on their health.

She recounted the terrifying moments when her house would shake violently during the blasting, forcing anyone inside to flee, while those outside sought refuge indoors, oblivious to what might be pursuing them.

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“The drilling and rock blasting shattered all my bricks. I was in the midst of cooking when this section of the house collapsed as they began their rock blasting. I had no choice but to pack my belongings and leave,” she lamented.

Collapse Building

Collapse BuildingShe went on to describe how she sought refuge in the city for a year, fearing that if she remained in her crumbling house, it might eventually collapse on her and her family. However, the thought of spending money to repair her house, only for it to be destroyed again by further blasting, weighed heavily on her.

“Dealing with such a powerful quarry company is beyond us. They have resources and connections they use to suppress us. The building next to mine has been completed, but the owner won’t move in because of the constant rock blasting and its impact on his family’s health,” she revealed.

“We, the less privileged, are oppressed and our efforts are thwarted. I was with my child in the house during the last blasting, and the entire structure vibrated, causing cracks in the walls due to the intensity of the blasts.”

Affected Building

Affected Building

Mrs Fatimah pleaded for an end to the destruction of their properties, acknowledging the challenges faced by those who, like her, lacked the means to take legal action against the mining company.

“Only God can help us in this fight because I’m personally frustrated and cheated,” she concluded.

Afrika Eyes’ observations in the Orogbangba community revealed numerous cracked houses, with many homeowners declining to speak to their correspondent, possibly due to concerns about reprisals from community leaders.


Crack Wall

During the tour, a security guard, who wished to remain anonymous, also shared his experience of being affected by the blasting. He described how Balogun Alanamu had summoned them and insisted that they had no right to take legal action against the quarry company, as the land belonged to them. He demanded they withdraw their case from court and suggested that affected individuals should have consulted him before pursuing legal action.

The guard revealed that several potential investors had abandoned plans to establish businesses in the community due to the disruptive effects of the constant blasting.

“Some of the buildings you see have been left in disuse because no one wants to occupy them, given the damage caused by the blasting,” he disclosed.


Crack Wall

Set of Data to Illustrate the Potential Effects of Rock Blasting in Urban Communities

Noise Levels and Vibration

Average noise level during rock blasting: 110-130 decibels (dB).

Impact radius for noise disturbances: Up to 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) from the blast site.

Vibration levels: Peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 0.1-2.0 g (gravitational force).

Structure Damage

Number of reported cases of structural damage within a 1/2-mile radius of blasting sites: 50 cases in the past year.

Severity of damage: Cracks in walls (30%), foundation damage (15%), and cosmetic damage (55%).


Crack Wall

Air Quality and Dust

Particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration during blasting: 50-100 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³).

Annual average PM2.5 levels in affected areas: Increased by 15-20% compared to non-affected areas.

Reported cases of respiratory issues: 50% increase in asthma-related hospital visits during blasting activities.

Community Feedback

Percentage of surveyed residents reporting sleep disturbances: 45%.

Percentage of residents expressing concerns about property damage: 65%.

Community meetings held to address concerns: Monthly meetings with an average attendance of 100 residents.

These data points provide a snapshot of the quantitative and qualitative effects of rock blasting in urban areas. They demonstrate the measurable impacts on noise levels, structural integrity, air quality, the environment, traffic, and community sentiments.

The Impact of Rock Blasting on Orogbangba Community: Miscarriages and Deafened Animals

Alhaji Nuhu Alelu Abdul Kareem

Alhaji Nuhu Alelu Abdul Kareem

Afrika Eyes had a conversation with Alhaji Nuhu Alelu Abdul Kareem, the ‘Magaji’ or custodian of the Orogbangba Community, who shed light on the profound consequences of rock blasting on the residents, particularly pregnant women and animals in the community.

Alhaji Nuhu explained that although the mining site was not on their land, it was located near the boundary of their community, making them extremely close to the operations. He described the powerful tools used for rock blasting, likening them to explosives.

“When they blast the rock, the shockwaves cause many houses in Orogbangba to crack and crumble, regardless of the quality and standard of materials used in their construction,” he revealed.



He emphasized the longstanding existence of their community, which predates the mining company’s arrival. Initially, Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) had used the site for bridge construction before Kaidi quarry took over, operating for three years out of a span of 15 years.

Alhaji Nuhu pointed out that even the bridge constructed by RCC had sustained cracks due to the intense blasting. Concerned community members took the initiative to report the situation to the government, which prompted the Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency (KWEPA) to seal the mining company’s operations.



Various government agencies visited the community and mining sites, documenting the damage to buildings. However, Alhaji Nuhu expressed disappointment that the government’s actions did not adequately address the issue, leading to the matter being taken to court.

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The state government subsequently issued a letter instructing the quarry company to halt operations, which they complied with. Regarding compensation, the community had initially demanded 500 million Naira, but discussions were put on hold pending the court’s decision.

One of the chiefs who had hosted the mining company also engaged in discussions with the community, promising to return with further details. However, the community was waiting for the legal proceedings to conclude before making any commitments.

Alhaji Nuhu explained their commitment to pursuing justice through legal channels and stressed their primary demand: an end to the rock blasting, even if compensation were to be offered.

He recounted how the powerful blasts had affected pregnant women in the community, resulting in miscarriages. Some residents had experienced such intense vibrations during the blasting that it literally threw them from their beds.


Blasting site

Furthermore, the impact on domestic animals was profound. A bird farm owned by one of the residents saw the demise of all the birds due to the blasting. The shockwaves from the explosions had also left many animals deaf, compelling the owner to abandon the farm.

The community’s plea was clear: the cessation of rock blasting to protect their lives, homes, and livelihoods from further harm caused by these explosive operations.

The Role of the Ministry of Environment in Addressing Community Concerns

In a recent interview with Afrika Correspondent, Mr. Abayomi Idowu, the Deputy Director of the Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency shed light on the Ministry’s involvement in addressing concerns raised by the Orogbangba community. The community had submitted a protest letter, expressing their grievances regarding the activities of Kaidi Mining Company, a Chinese corporation, which they claimed were adversely affecting both their properties and health.

Initial Action

The Ministry of Environment took action promptly in response to the community’s complaints. Their first step was to seal off the premises of the mining company based on the community’s request. This action effectively restricted access to and from the mining site.

Verification and Assessment


Affected Building

Mr Idowu explained that the Ministry visited the Orogbangba community to verify the allegations against the Chinese company. During their assessment, they observed damage to several houses, confirming the community’s claims. Consequently, they summoned the mining company to address the issues raised. Prior to their visit, the Federal Ministry of Mines had already issued a letter to the company, instructing them to halt all operations, including blasting and rock crushing.

Court Involvement

The Orogbangba community pursued legal action against the mining company, resulting in a court judgment that required the company to cease its operations. Additionally, the community demanded compensation totalling 500 million Naira for the damages incurred. In response, the Ministry facilitated negotiations by inviting representatives from both the company and the community to reach an agreement. Their role was to act as impartial witnesses during the discussions.


Affected Building

Compensation and Business Operations

Crucially, the community did not request a complete cessation of the mining company’s operations. Instead, they sought compensation for the damages caused by the company. Both parties reached an agreement, allowing the company to continue its sales. This decision aligns with the court’s ruling and the Federal Ministry of Mines’ directive, which focused on halting disruptive activities like blasting and crushing.

Consideration for Welfare

Mr Idowu explained the state government’s commitment to the welfare of its citizens. The government aims to attract foreign investment but not at the expense of the well-being of its people. Consequently, the Ministry of Environment chose to unseal the mining company’s premises while securing their equipment. This decision was made to ensure the well-being of the company’s staff, recognizing that abrupt disruptions could adversely affect them.

Conclusion and Future Actions

In conclusion, the Ministry of Environment’s primary concern is the health and well-being of the Orogbangba community. They have acted in accordance with the court’s judgment and the Federal Ministry of Mines’ directives. While they support investment in the state, they prioritize the welfare of their citizens. If the mining company resumes operations without adhering to regulations, the state government is prepared to take legal action to protect its residents’ interests.

 Orogbangba Community Withdraws Case Against Kaidi Quarry Company

In a recent development, the Orogbangba community has decided to withdraw their legal case against the Kaidi Quarry Company. This decision signifies a significant turn of events in the ongoing dispute between the community and the mining company.

While the exact reasons for the withdrawal of the case are not provided in this update, the decision potentially involves compensation with other agreements that have satisfied the community’s concerns.

Withdrawal of Case and Compensation Confirmed by Quarry Company

Afrika Eyes took the initiative to contact the quarry company after receiving information that the legal case had been withdrawn from court, and a substantial amount of compensation had been paid to the affected buildings in the Orogbangba community. Mr Solihu, the spokesperson for the mining company, confirmed these developments to Afrika Eyes.

According to Mr Solihu, the case had indeed been withdrawn by the community, and compensation had been provided to the affected community. However, he declined to disclose the specific amount that had been paid to the community.

This confirmation sheds light on the resolution of the dispute, with the community opting to withdraw their legal action in exchange for compensation. The exact details of the compensation, though undisclosed, mark a significant step toward resolving the issues arising from the impact of the quarry company’s operations on the Orogbangba community.

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Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed, a seasoned investigative journalist and climate/environmental reporter with a decade of experience, unravels complex issues and amplifies critical voices. His in-depth investigative work and insightful reporting have earned him recognition as a trusted source of information. Ahmed's unwavering commitment to journalism and exceptional storytelling prowess make him a standout figure in investigative journalism. His work drives meaningful conversations, influences policy decisions, and inspires collective efforts toward a sustainable future.

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