Ebola Outbreak Should Spur Mining Companies to Improve Sustainability
by Vikas Vij
The deadliest outbreak in the history of Ebola virus in West Africa has already claimed more than 900 lives. Governments across the world have stepped up surveillance and quarantine measures. Global businesses with mining activities in West Africa are evaluating the potential impact on their ability to sustain operations while also safeguarding their employees and their families against the outbreak, which is spreading faster than anyone anticipated.
Ebola-affected West African countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have large untapped deposits of iron ore, bauxite, gold, diamonds and other commodities. West Africa represents a major global mining opportunity that is vital to the economy of the region as well as various industries around the world. However, most of these mines are located in areas that are impacted by the Ebola virus. This has led to a critical economic and humanitarian situation for which the mining companies were not adequately prepared.
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Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.