Local populations pay the price for Areva's operations in Africa, says Eva Lacoste - raises environmental, health & social concerns.

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Article
4 August 2012

[DOC] Investigation: Areva in Africa, or the law of the jungle

Author: Eva Lacoste, Pambazuka

[Title and summary translation from original French provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.] The population of Mounana [Gabon] is still living with the radioactive effects of the uranium, including in numerous homes built with backfill from the mine. Two million tonnes of radioactive waste were dumped into watercourses...For Niger, [Areva's operations have] been an environmental, health and social disaster...Groundwater tables have also been exhausted...Radon, which escapes during uranium mining, affects the health of minors and residents near the sites.

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Company response
3 August 2012

[English version of Areva's response to Eva Lacoste's article "Areva en Afrique ou la loi de la jungle"

Author: Areva

A source of jobs and income for populations in Afrca, Areva’s mining activities have provided substantial economic benefits to African countries. Tens of thousands of jobs have been created during these five decades…In line with its commitment to promoting local economic development; more than 98 percent of the people employed in Areva’s mining activities in Africa are African. Areva is a responsible mine operator that is faithful to its environmental commitments. We do everything possible to minimize the impact of our activities on the environment and the populations, and we carry out radiological monitoring by doing regular analyses of the air, water, food chain and soil. The health of our workers and of the local populations in Africa and everywhere else we operate, is an absolute priority…our Group has set up hospitals and health centers to provide quality medical care to our employees, their families and the local populations…our mining companies in Gabon and Niger offer free medical care to employees and their families…[and] to the rest of the population…Health Observatories [have been created]…The first Observatory was set up in Gabon, in 2010, and the second in Niger, in 2011. There have already been several hundred consultations.

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