In 2020, Ziva community initiative was commissioned by Pact West Africa to carry out a project on Rapid Assessment of COVID-19 in Nigeria’s mining sector. The study is part of a larger program of the World Bank whose purpose is to assess the impact of COVID among Artisanal Mining Communities across 22 countries. In 2020, the World Bank through PACT commissioned surveys into the impact of the COVID pandemic among Artisanal Mining communities. The reports showed that there were potentials for human capital development to undergo shocks if mining communities were infected. It also showed that miners still went to work despite COVID and the lockdowns with little gender differentiation in working in or around the mining sites. In Nigeria, partners of the World Bank were selected to carry out the second phase of the COVID survey this year to ascertain the impact of COVID on mining communities in the last two years. Ziva Community Initiative is one of the partners who carried out the survey in Nigeria.
ZCI conducted the survey in Osun and Niger states among communities with the presence of Artisanal mining sites. Both states have huge deposits of mineral resources. For instance, in Osun State, the mineral resources potentials found are Gold, Talc, Feldspars, Cassiterite, Columbite, Granite, Mica, Iron ore, Kaolin, Tourmaline, Aquamarine. Niger state has uranium, coal, and gold among others.
The World Bank and its Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) helped ZCI implement this project in Niger and Osun States, with the goal of raising awareness of mining safety and precautionary measures against COVID-19 infections, as well as sensitizing communities about high-risk behavioral patterns that may increase COVID-19 infections.